Friday, December 30, 2016

Greenville City Schools Update - January 2017

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Superintendent Doug Fries

Greenville City Schools has had a great first semester of the 2016-17 school year, both academically and with extra-curricular activities. Thanks to the hard work of our students and staff and the support of our parents and community, the first semester is nearing the end and has been very educational and productive.

Students will return from Winter Break later this year on Thursday, January 12, 2017. There will be no school on Martin Luther King Day, January 16, 2017 and the first semester ends on Friday, January 27, 2017.

Again, I would like to thank the entire school district for their support of the new K-8 facility that is about to open to the students and staff on January 12, 2017. The community is providing our students and staff with a state of the art facility to enhance the delivery of twenty first century learning and instruction for decades to come. The new facility also features updated security and life safety features throughout the building, improved accessibility for all handicapped students and adults, enhanced technology for learning and improved visual performing art classrooms and spaces. Further improvements include updated efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning and electrical systems throughout the complex utilizing geothermal heating and cooling. There is increased physical education instructional space, as well as, extracurricular practice space with two full size gym floors and a separate kindergarten gym. The commons/cafeteria space is a wonderful feature for the district both for student dining and for community performances and events. The area features a stage available for performances to a gym and the commons. It can also be closed off for additional academic space. All the classroom spaces are built to OFCC standards throughout the complex. Outside the facility features three playgrounds with the kindergarten playground fenced in. There are walking paths provided throughout the grounds and a delivery loading dock. The facility has a total of 460 parking spaces.

Over Winter break the district has had Lewis and Michael Moving and Storage, Inc. move the curriculum and equipment content from our four existing buildings into the new K-8 complex. This move has gone smoothly and we appreciate the assistance of the company. We also sincerely thank the teaching and classified staff and all our wonderful community volunteers that have assisted us in packing and unpacking boxes, books and materials in preparation of opening the new school complex. Again, our grateful gratitude to all that have helped.

Darke County Parks Receives Grant

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The Darke County Park District would like to extend a huge thank you to the Harry Stephens Memorial Fund for their recent grant contribution. The funds will go toward building a new raptor, or bird of prey, enclosure known as a mew. A main objective of the new mew is to provide safe, public viewing areas for their owl. The new structure will ensure a safe, restful home for the animals where they are better protected from Ohio’s diverse weather and may allow the park to take on new animal ambassadors.

When considering new ambassadors, the park would be particularly interested in adopting an Eastern Screech Owl and/or an American Kestrel. Programs involving live animals are always exciting and in high demand, and these smaller species of raptors will allow them to travel to schools with more ease and will also give them the opportunity to teach about more varieties of native raptors. This project will add yet another wonder to explore during a visit to the park. The educational value of seeing a hawk or owl up close is unparalleled and for many creates a lifelong appreciation for nature.

Raptors are federally protected, and it is important for the park to inspire an appreciation for these amazing birds in the young and old alike. The mew will be a beautiful addition to the Nature Education Center, and it would be impossible to construct without the generous support from the Harry Stephens Memorial Fund. The park district strives to provide the best possible experience to the residents of Darke County and beyond and to ensure comprehensive education for the stewards of tomorrow. Thank you again to the Harry Stephens Memorial Fund for making this possible.

Progress Made by Union Literary Institute Group

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The Union Literary Institute Preservation Society (ULIPS) has completed the installation of an historical marker and has received a significant grant.

ULIPS is a group dedicated to preserving the heritage of the Greenville Negro Settlement, which was the earliest settlement of African-American freedmen in Indiana (1822.) The settlement once covered ten square miles in both Randolph County, Indiana, and Darke County, Ohio and had nearly 500 inhabitants.

One of the settlement’s most important accomplishments was the establishment in 1845, of Indiana’s first school to offer primary through collegiate education to all students, regardless of race or gender at the time when public schools were not open to Blacks. The institute was founded by a group of freedmen and their Abolitionist, Quaker neighbors. The latter most prominently included Levi Coffin, known nationally as the, “President of the Underground Railroad.” The Institute campus was a station on the Underground Railroad and is part of the National Park Service, “Freedom Trails” program, as is the Levi Coffin House State Historic Site in Fountain City, Indiana.

In November, the ULIPS celebrated the installation of an historical marker at the site of the institute building on County Road 6005, northeast of Spartanburg. The marker was fabricated to the standards of the Indiana Historical Bureau, a state agency that approved the text that appears on the marker.

The organization was recently awarded a $15,000 Heritage Support Grant. This is provided by the Indiana Historical Society and is made possible by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. Terms of the grant require that the ULIPS provide a fifteen percent cash match. The funds will be used to begin a project to preserve the remains of the 1860 Institute building. Future plans are to enclose the ruin within a pavilion that will portray the building’s original appearance. Matching funds are being provided by individuals, the Randolph Community Foundation, and the Randolph County Commissioners, who paid for a grant writer.

In Darke County, the ULIPS owns the c. 1850 James and Sophia Clemens House, whose exterior restoration is being completed with an $18,000 grant from the Ohio Historical Society, aka, “Ohio History Connection.” The group has also been awarded a $90,000 grant for the interior restoration of the house by the State of Ohio. James Clemens was the earliest Greenville settler to this settlement; he arrived from Virginia in 1818.

Author’s Night 2017

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Mark your calendars for a fabulous Author’s Night series 2017! The Friends of the Library sponsor these classy events each winter to enrich the community’s literary experience and to offer fun Friday night get-togethers during the cold months. Held at Montage Cafe in downtown Greenville where delicious food & drink can be purchased, the evening is always extra-festive with live music by the cool J.R. Price and Bill Westfall.

You may want to google these authors to see what a treat we’re in for - interesting, accomplished, award-winning writers who have their own stories to tell. Author’s Night offers an opportunity to meet and get to know some of the best novelists, poets, and bloggers from all over Ohio.

January 13th is J.R. Irvin; February 17th The Greenville Poets; March 3rd Vivian Blevins, and April 7th Lee Martin. As always these authors represent a wide variety of subject matter and styles.

Known to her friends as Jan, J. R. Irving is the 2015 Jeremiah Healy Mystery Winner for her debut novel The Dark End of the Rainbow. A career educator Jan retired in 2008 after teaching Spanish and English at Springboro High School, Centerville City Schools and Alter High School. Until recently she taught Spanish as an adjunct professor at Wright State. “Writing is my job now,” says Jan.

We are proud that the January Author's Night is the official launch of Jan's just-published second novel The Rules of the Game. Jan plans to hold drawings for several prizes and her books will be available for purchase.

Jan has served as a long-time volunteer for the Antioch Writers Workshop. She shared that she will be a First Book Talk speaker at the 2017 Workshop in July. “It's such an honor to be invited to present there.” Her stories have appeared in both print and online journals and magazines including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Spark a creative anthology.

Jan grew up near Youngstown Ohio where she says, “my father was very encouraging of my writing. He’d be so proud.” Jan and her husband live in Springboro at the edge of a nature park where they are avid canoeists. Learn more about Jan’s novels and writing career at

The Darke County Foundation Awards Funding to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke Counties

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Little Buddy: Nathaniel Graf, son of Ben and Emily Graf. Big Buddy Mentor: Katelyn Warner, daughter of Christopher and Jennifer Warner and Little Buddy Alexis pace, daughter of Melikka King reading the 7 Habits of Happy Kids together.
The Darke County Foundation recently awarded a total of $1,000.00 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Darke County. The funding will be used to aid in The 7 Habits of Happy Kids Curriculum that will be utilized in the “Big Buddies” High School Mentoring program that pairs high school freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors with elementary aged students twice a month.

The High School Mentoring program known as “Big Buddies” is a nine month commitment where volunteer high school freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors mentor elementary age children two times a month at an agency designation. The agency has programs that include a total of 3 designated sites in Darke County with locations at Ansonia Elementary School, Versailles Elementary School, and Woodland Heights Elementary School in Darke County and four sites in Shelby County located at Emerson Elementary School, Northwood Elementary School, Longfellow Elementary School, & Whittier Elementary schools.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County is a nonprofit, United Way member, social service 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. The agency currently has over 15 children waiting for a volunteer to work with them. If you are interested in becoming involved and making a difference in the life of a child in the Shelby & Darke Community call 937-492-7611 or 937-547-9622.

“Lunch & Learn” at Library

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The Greenville Public Library is launching a new health program called “Lunch & Learn.” These monthly events will feature a guest speaker in the health and wellness field followed by a healthy lunch. The public is invited to enjoy these informative and life-enhancing events as part of making 2017 a year of improved vitality and well being.

Our kick-off “Lunch & Learn” is Wednesday January 11 at 12:30 pm. Jordan Francis from Wayne Healthcare will be the guest speaker on the subject of physical activity. “We'll cover benefits, dose, types of activity, and implementation,” he states. Lunch will be provided by Brenda's Beanery. The cost is $5 and participation is limited to 20 people. To register please call the Library at 548-3915.

Jordan Francis is Director of Wellness Services and the Lifestyle Enhancement Center at Wayne. He holds an MPH or Masters of Public Health with a minor in exercise science. He can be reached at


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CBC ‘Rise, Shine & Give’ ceramic coffee tumbler.
DAYTON, Ohio – CBC is encouraging donors to “Rise, Shine & Give” at area community blood drives. Community Blood Center is offering the “Rise, Shine & Give” ceramic coffee tumbler to everyone who registers to donate. Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment online at or call 1-800-388-GIVE.

CBC is helping donors keep a sunny outlook during the coldest weeks of winter with the “Rise, Shine & Give” ceramic tumbler with removable silicone grip. It’s free to anyone who registers to donate Monday, Jan. 9 through Saturday, Feb. 25 at any CBC Donor Center and most CBC mobile blood drives.

January is designated “National Blood Donor Month” because winter is a challenging time for maintaining the area blood supply. If you must miss an appointment to donate please reschedule when you can. We especially encourage the continued support of type O whole blood donors and type A/B platelet and plasma donors.

Community Blood Center is now testing blood donations for the Zika virus and is no longer deferring donors for travel to Zika endemic areas. By consenting to give blood, donors are agreeing to participate in a research study to help develop better testing systems to protect the blood supply.

Monday, January 9, 2017
Union City City Building
105 North Columbia Street, Union City, IN
2:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Sponsored by: Union City Lions Club
Open to the Community
Appointments Encouraged

Monday, January 9, 2017
Faith United Methodist Church
101 East South Street, Arcanum
3:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Open to the Community
Appointments Encouraged!

YMCA’s Youth Basketball League

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If you are searching for a fun way to get your kids active during the winter months, the YMCA’s Youth Basketball league begins in January. The registration deadline is January 6 for the league, which will take place on Saturday mornings at the Versailles Y.

Kids who participate in youth basketball at the Y are able to develop a variety of skills, from catching and dribbling to teamwork and sportsmanship. Just as important, they learn firsthand the benefits of being healthy and active—and that virtual games just can’t compare to the real thing.

The basketball league will be at the Versailles Branch.

There will be teams in two age groups, ages 4-6 and ages 7-10.

Pre-season for the 7-10 age group is Jan. 7 at 9:00 AM. (No pre-season for the 4-6 age group.) Practices are January 14 and 21. Games are January 28 through March 4.

The league is $25 for Members and $50 for Potential Members. All participants will receive a t-shirt.

Volunteer coaches are crucial to the league’s success. Anyone interested in coaching should come to the meeting for volunteer coaches on January 10, at 6:00 PM in Versailles.

Questions may be directed to Tyler Roberts, at or 548-3777.

2017 Agriculture Outlook Meeting

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What does 2017 look like for Western Ohio farmers and agricultural businesses?

Learn what to expect this year during an agricultural outlook meeting February 3 at noon presented by agriculture economists and swine specialist with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The presentation is part of the 2017 Agricultural Policy and Outlook series offered by The Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of the college. Ths meeting is being hosted by the Agriculture and Natural Resources Educators from Auglaize, Darke, Miami, Mecer and Shelby Counties.

The meeting is partially sponsored by Farm Credit Mid America Merchants Bank of Indiana, Minster Bank, Second National Bank, The Andersons and Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net.

The meeting will feature presentations on matters the agricultural community should expect in 2017, including policy changes, key issues and market behavior with respect to farm, food and energy resources, and the environment, said Sam Custer, OSU Extension, Darke County Educator.

"Participants can listen and learn from Ohio State faculty as they discuss the opportunities and challenges for the agricultural sector as well as interpret the impact of recent policy decisions," Custer said.

Speakers for the outlook meeting are:

Dale Richer, State Swine Specialist, OSU Extension
Carl Zulauf, Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University
Barry Ward, Asst. Professor, OSU Extension, Production Business Management
David Marrison, Assoc. Professor, OSU Extension

What we’ll cover:

  • Ohio Swine Production Update
  • Speculation on President Trump’s Policy Agenda
  • Examining Land Values, Cash Rents, Input Costs & Potential Crop Profitability in 2017
  • What Are Grain Markets Telling Us?
  • Farm & Estate Tax Laws – Planning for an Uncertain Future

"These presentations will provide excellent information and insights that will benefit farmers and agricultural leaders as they make plans for 2017 and beyond," Custer said.

The meeting will be held at the Romer’s Party Room, 118 East Main Street, Greenville, Ohio.

Registration for the meeting is $20 (includes lunch) by January 27. A registration flyer can be downloaded at

For more information about the meeting, contact Custer at or 937.548.5215.

For more detailed information, visit the Darke County OSU Extension web site at, the OSU Extension Darke County Facebook page.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


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Ansonia OH - On Friday, February 3, 2017 the Ansonia Athletic Wall of Fame Committee will induct two new members, Alexandria Mayo (2009) and her sister Brittany (Mayo) Harrod (2009).

Alexandria Mayo, class of 2009 will be recognized for her athletic accomplishments in Softball, Volleyball and Basketball. Alexandria earned 11 athletic letters in Softball years 9, 10, 11, 12, Volleyball years 9, 10, 11, 12 and Basketball year 10, 11, 12. Also in softball, Alexandria was: 2007 Offensive Player of the Year, 2007 CCC Honorable Mention, 2008 Most Improved and in 2009 she received her 4-year trophy award. Alexandria also earned numerous team awards and was a member of the 2009 softball team that went to State Final Four, losing in the Semi Finals 3-0 to eventual State Champion Strasburg-Franklin.

Brittany (Mayo) Harrod, class of 2009 will be recognized for her athletic accomplishments in Softball, Volleyball and Basketball. Brittany earned 9 athletic letters in Softball years 9, 10, 11, 12, Volleyball years 9, 10, 11, 12 and Basketball year 12. Also in softball, Brittany was: 2006 CCC Honorable Mention, 2007 Outstanding Pitcher, 2007 CCC First Team and 2008 CCC Honorable Mention. Brittany also earned numerous team awards and was a member of the 2009 softball team that went to State Final Four, losing in the Semi Finals 3-0 to eventual State Champion Strasburg-Franklin.

The ceremony will take place between the Junior Varsity and Varsity boy’s basketball game against Covington.

Wall of Fame applications can be obtained at the Ansonia Local School Office or Athletic Department. Nominees must be a graduate of Ansonia Local Schools, must have graduated not less than 5 years prior to nomination and the nomination form and supporting documentation must be received by March 1 annually.

White Accepts DCP Board of Commissioners Seat

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Pictured left to right are Roger L. Brocious, DCP Board President;
L. Shephen Shaltry, Vice President; Judge Jason R. Aslinger;
Tina White, future DCP Board member; and John M. Cook, Commissioner-At-Large.
Tina White has been a dedicated Darke County Parks volunteer and member of the Friends of Darke County Parks for over five years and beginning on January 1, 2017 will take a seat on the park board of commissioners.

White is a graduate of Greenville High School and works for Western Southern Life. Some of her volunteer activities for the park have included the Waffle Breakfast during the Maple Syrup Festival, managing the pie baking contest at Prairie Days, and carving stamps for Nature Day celebrations among many others. Her enthusiasm for nature, education, and fun is contagious.

White said she is, “excited and prepared to begin this new challenge with the Darke County Parks Board of Commissioners.” The board positions are on staggered 3 year terms, and members are appointed by Probate Judge Jason Aslinger. White will be taking over for L. Stephen Shaltry who served the board for 24 years before his retirement at the end of 2016.

The Darke County Parks staff and volunteers are excited about Tina joining the commissioner ranks and bringing with her enthusiasm and love for nature and the parks.


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The residents and staff of Versailles Health Care Center would like to thank you Emerson of Sidney for donating mini Christmas trees from Andy's Garden to residents. Included with the trees were notes saying "May the warmth and joy of the Christmas season remain with you throughout the coming year". Pictured: Activity Assistant, Victoria Jones, and long-term care resident, Ed Grieshop.

Cancer Association of Darke County holds Annual Gourmet Dinner Ticket Sales

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Would you like to win a Gourmet Dinner for 8?

Tickets are available for $5 each or 6 for $25. All the winner will need to do is choose the date and place for the dinner and invite 7 of their family/friends to come and share the meal with them. The meal will be prepared by the Gourmet Dinner Club.

The deadline for purchasing tickets is February 13, 2017. Tickets will be available until the drawing which will be held at noon on the 13th. You do not need to be present to win. All donations are always appreciated, whether buying raffle tickets of not.

Eikenberry’s has been generous enough to donate the ingredients for the dinner and Minuteman Press has donated the printing of the tickets.

Proceeds will be used to help local cancer patients.

The Cancer Association of Darke County is local and independent (not affiliated with the American Cancer Society.) All donations stay in the area to provide services to cancer patients, education and information in the prevention and early detection of cancer, and a yearly donation to research.

Tickets will be available at the Cancer Association office located at 1111 Sweitzer Street at the Wayne Cancer Center in Greenville. Tickets are $5.00 each or 6 for $25.00. The office will be closed until January 3 due to the holidays. It will reopen January 3 and after that will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9-4:30. For more information, please contact Christine Lynn at the Cancer Association at 548-9960.

Down to Earth Book Club

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The first Maya cities developed around 750 BC; by 500 BC,
these cities possessed monumental architecture.
The Darke County Park District is pleased to announce the Down to Earth Book Club’s winter selection. For their fifth season, they will read 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann. This work of science, history, and archeology radically alters our understanding of the Americas before Columbus’ arrival in 1492. Contray to what so many learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were large numbers who actively molded and influenced the land.

Each quarter the Down to Earth Book Club will feature a different book, some by well-known nature writers, some about outdoor adventure, and even some about pioneers settling Ohio. Everyone is invited to read the book and join them at the Nature Center to discuss the work, enjoy some yummy treats, and suggest future books.

This season’s book club will meet on Monday, February 6th at 6:30pm at the Shawnee Prairie Preserve Nature Center. Please call ahead to let them know you plan on participating in the book club discussion in February. The Darke County Parks Nature Center can be reached at (937) 548-0165.

Edison State Darke County Students a Force for the Community

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One of nine Edison State communications teams gave a presentation to Arcanum Middle School fifth and sixth graders on the dangers of bullying and how to be good buddies.
Edison State Community College’s Darke County Campus is about higher education, but it’s also about community. Edison State students reached a milestone this semester, providing well over 1,000 hours of community service, reaching as many as 1,500 schoolchildren in four Darke County school districts.

“A hallmark of an Edison State education is practical, real-world experiences,” said Edison State President Dr. Doreen Larson. “The Darke County Campus has expanded its notion of a classroom to include the entire community. These students have gained an understanding of the community along with an appreciation of their own skills in leadership and service.”

One of the volunteering opportunities had Edison State students going out into the community, to schools that are educating the next generation of Edison State students.

Sixty Edison Fundamentals of Communications students spent six weeks preparing to talk to students ranging from kindergarten through sixth grade about bullying and how to be a “buddy” instead of a “bully.” They made presentations to Ansonia, Arcanum, Mississinawa Valley, and Greenville’s Woodland Primary students. Dozens of hours were spent preparing and delivering their messages.

Students have been leaving their Darke County Campus to deliver presentations about bullying, drug abuse, manners, courtesy, and respect for the last four years. This year’s message by nine Edison State teams reached nearly 1,500 elementary and intermediate students, the largest number to date.

New to the Edison State Darke County Campus is the Empowering Darke County Youth After School Program. Forty-four students from a number of Edison State classes accumulated 1,000 hours helping over 60 students from Greenville’s East, South, and Woodland schools during the inaugural 13-week program.

The purpose of the After School Program is to help struggling students with homework and, in some cases, catching up with the basics they need to succeed in school.

“We are helping future Edison State students reach their goals,” said Chad Beanblossom, Dean of the Darke County Campus. “At the same time, we are working with other community organizations to make Darke County a better place for all of its residents.”

“Building a stronger community through education and community service… I can’t think of a better focus for Edison State’s Darke County Campus,” Beanblossom added.


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2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.


Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Tree Recycling at DCP

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Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. 
Live Christmas trees are beautiful, fragrant, and steeped in Yuletide traditions, but many wonder what to do with it after the season is over. Darke County Parks in conjunction with Darke County Solid Waste are again offering their Christmas Tree Recycling program. Drop off live Christmas trees at Shawnee Prairie Preserve on St. Rt. 502 just west of Greenville between December 27th and January 13th. Just follow the signs up the service road to the drop off location. The trees will be shredded and used as mulch on the parks paths and walking trails. Please remove all ornaments, lights, wire, tinsel, and nails prior to drop off, and regretfully they cannot accept trees with fake snow. For more information about this or any of the other park district programs, please call the Nature Center at (937) 548-0165.

Friday, December 23, 2016

State of the Heart staff donates in memory of co-worker

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State of the Heart Care staff employed at the Hospice Care Center, located on the fourth floor of Wayne HealthCare, donated toys this year in memory of Gill Hawk. Gill was a nurse at the agency who passed away earlier this year. The Care Center family decided to buy toys and donate them to a local charity for Christmas in Gill Hawk’s name, as a remembrance to him.

“Since Gill passed we have hole missing in our family,” shared Cassie Creech, an RN at the Care Center. “Gill always gave back to everyone he met, whether it was personal or professional.” Karla Greer, a hospice aide also worked very closely with Gill and spoke on why the staff decided to donate. “This year we have decided to give back to our community, just as Gill had done for so many years.”

The theme of the Christmas Tree was “Santa’s Workshop.” Staff used toys that would be donated to decorate the tree. State of the Heart would like to wish a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to our community, from our family to yours.

Wednesday Collision on 47 After Egg Truck to Overturn

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On December 21, 2016 at approximately 10:33 AM, Darke County Deputies along with Versailles Fire and Rescue responded to State Route 47 and Murphy Road for an injury crash involving an overturned semi and car and a utility pole knocked down.

Investigation revealed Leslie P. Salyer 66, of Sidney, Ohio was driving a 2012 maroon Peterbilt tractor trailer hauling cartons of eggs, Eastbound on State Route 47, failing to negotiate the curve at Murphy Road causing the tractor trailer to overturn in the curve and collide with a Westbound green Chevy Equinox driven by Betty A. Pothast 72, Versailles, Ohio.

The tractor trailer then slid off the left side of the roadway striking and knocking down a utility pole. Mr. Salyer was transported to Wilson Memorial Hospital in Sidney for minor injuries and Pothast was transported to Wayne HealthCare in Greenville and later transported to Miami Valley Hospital for her injuries. Both drivers were wearing seat belts. State Route 47 at Murphy Road was closed for approximately four hours.

The Darke County Sheriff's Office accident reconstruction team and The Ohio State Highway Patrol Motor Carrier Enforcement was called to the scene for further investigation. This accident remains under investigation by the Darke County Sheriff's Office.

Greenville Federal Supports United Way

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The Darke County United Way is pleased to announce that Greenville Federal and its employees showed an increase in their giving to the 2016 United Way Campaign by 25.6% over the last year. “The majority of this amount is made up of personal contributions from the employees at Greenville Federal. Jeff Kniese and his staff have created an environment conducive to giving and caring for those in the Darke County community. That is evident when 91% of the employees made a personal gift. We are extremely grateful to Greenville Federal and the employees for their ongoing generosity,” stated Christy Baker, Executive Director for the United Way.

Greenville Federal also provides volunteer leadership for the United Way. Susan Barker, Senior Vice President and CFO for Greenville Federal, sits on the United Way Board and has volunteered over the last several years along with Betty Hartzell, AVP/Cash Management, to help on Allocations Committees. In addition, Brian Beam, Marketing Manager, and Corey Eagle, Collections Manager, help to spearhead a fundraising event for the Darke County United Way called Glow Hole ‘n Bowl which raised an additional $2,000.00 for the United Way Campaign.

On behalf of the Darke County United Way Board of Directors, we would like to give a big thank you to Greenville Federal and their wonderful staff for strengthening health, education and stability in this community. Darke County United Way served over 30,000 residents last year through their 24 non-profit health and human service programs in the county. To learn more about Darke County United Way visit

The Annual Christmas Bird Count Rescheduled

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The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) originally scheduled for December 18th was cancelled due to severe weather, and it has been rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 2nd. It is a census of birds in the Western Hemisphere, performed by volunteer birdwatchers and administered by the National Audubon Society. The purpose is to provide population data for use in science, especially conservation biology, though many people participate for recreation.

Each individual count is performed in a "count circle" with a diameter of 15 miles. At least ten volunteers break up into small parties and follow assigned routes, which change little from year to year, counting every bird they see. In most count circles, some people also watch feeders instead of following routes.

The Darke County Birders Club in conjunction with the Darke Countians for Wildlife Conservation will be participating in the annual event on Monday, January 2nd and will meet at North McDonalds in Greenville at 7:30am for location assignments. For more information about the Christmas Bird Count visit the National Audubon Society website at [], and for questions or to help out with this year’s Darke County count, contact Bob Welch with Darke Countians for Wildlife Conservation at (937) 423-1596 or

Winter Hiking Series: Birds of Winter Hike

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The Dark-eyed Junco is a common harbinger of winter’s
arrival and is also a common bird at feeding stations.
Winter’s brisk weather brings with it unique beauty. Join Darke County Parks to seek out these seasonal sights and hiking opportunities. On December 31st at 9am join a naturalist at Shawnee Prairie Preserve just west of Greenville on St. Rt. 502 to explore the world of winter birds. The program will begin with a quick presentation on possible bird species, and then participants will take a bird hike and enjoy the bird window in the Nature Center. Remember to dress for the weather. In the event of severe weather, call the Nature Center to find out about possible cancellation.

For more information about this or any of the other exciting hikes in this season’s series or other park district programs, please call the Nature Center at (937) 548-0165.

Edison State nursing students honored with pinning ceremony

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Jean Heath holds up a photograph of herself from
when she graduated from Edison State.
Edison State Community College honored its most recent nursing graduates on Thursday, December 15, with a pinning ceremony held in a gymnasium filled with family and friends at the Piqua campus.

The pinning ceremony is a time-honored tradition in which the graduate nurse is presented to family and friends as a professional who is about to practice nursing, and the graduate is usually “pinned” by the faculty members who have worked with the students throughout their course of study. Each school has a unique pin, which serves as a symbol of the successful completion of a rigorous curriculum, which prepares its graduates to administer to the sick and injured and promote health through the practice of nursing.

Marvella Fletcher, Edison State Board of Trustee member, provided opening remarks praising the work of the nursing students and those who have supported them along the way.

Jean Heath, MA, BSN, RN, OCN, a nursing professional and alumna of Edison State, served as the ceremony’s guest speaker. Heath reflected upon her time as a student and how the education she received helped catapult her career in nursing.

“It didn’t take me long to realize that the foundation and the education that I got in this building, from these teachers, and this program gave me inner strength and self-confidence,” said Heath. “It also gave me the skills needed to perform my job.”

Heath went on to offer words of advice. “My advice to all of you is to find your path. Your leadership skills and the skills that you learn along the way will get better but what I want you never to forget is where you came from and where you started, because I never did,” added Heath.

Each of the twenty-five graduates had the opportunity to submit a word of thanks to those who have supported their education, which was read as they received their pin from an Edison State nursing faculty member. Many used the opportunity to share individual stories of sacrifice and triumphing over adversity, the bonds that were formed between classmates and the deep appreciation held for the Edison State nursing faculty.

Graduates of the program will move on to the next phase of their career, which involves taking the registered nurse licensing exam and seeking employment.

Edison State Community College’s nursing program has maintained full accreditation and approval throughout its history. In 2013, Edison State’s Associate of Nursing Degree program was granted a full five-year approval by the Ohio Board of Nursing. In 2011, the program earned an eight-year accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, the highest level a program can receive.

Applications for Edison State’s Registered Nursing program are currently being accepted for Fall 2017 semester. For more information about the program, visit

Nursing Graduates:

Anna: Nicole Terwilliger; Bradford: Haley Canan; Celina: Moriah Plattner; Chickesaw: Elizabeth Fortkamp; Covington: Christopher Green; Fort Recovery: Marissa Thobe; Greenville: Denah Angles, Jessica Hall, Justina Martin; Lewisburg: Rachael Elam; Maplewood: Kylie Keener; New Carlisle: Rose Minutolo; Piqua: Taylor Bryant, Nicole Engley, Cher Grunkemeyer, Hillary Yutzy; Pleasant Hill: Allison Merritt; Sidney: Kaitlyn Kerrigan, Deborah Parker; St. Marys: Amanda Dysert; Troy: Shannon Brunson, Michaela Humphrey; Union: Sarah Groh; Versailles: Diana Sanati; West Milton: Debra Cook.

Darke County Road Hogs, Mark’s Bike Drive & Big Brothers Big Sisters provide Toys for Kids in need this Christmas

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The Darke County Road Hogs & Mark’s Bike Drive in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Darke County held its annual Toys for Tikes Christmas toy drive with toys and bikes being distributed December 17th at the Darke County Fairgrounds. Fifty-two families with 117 children were provided toys this year, 62 of those children received a new bicycle thanks to Mark’s Bike Drive. Mark’s Bike Drive also able helped give 72 bicycles to children through Operations Christmas Cheer for a total of 134 bikes.

A lot of local business donated toward this worthy cause this year. The businesses included: BNSF Logistics in Versailles, Famers State Bank all branches in Darke County, Dollar General, and Ansonia Lumber who held a toy contest with wonderful handmade wooden toys that were donated to Toys for Tikes. The toys distribution took place at the Darke county fairgrounds who donated the use of the spiritual center to house all the toys and bikes for this event. There were also local individual that generously gave to the cause by dropping off new toys to the Big Brothers Big Sisters office.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke county is now busy gearing up for The Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser will be held Friday and Saturday, March 3 & 4, 2017, at Bel-Mar Lanes in Sidney and Treaty Lanes in Greenville. You can find out who you can get involved in this fun fundraiser by logging onto our website at

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County is a non-profit United Way member, social service agency. If you would like more information on entering your child in the program or on becoming an active volunteer, please call 492-7611 or 547-9622.

More than 9,000 Deer Checked during Ohio's Two-Day Gun Hunting Season

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COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio’s hunters braved less than ideal weather conditions over the weekend and checked 9,228 white-tailed deer during Ohio’s 2016 two-day deer-gun hunting season, Dec. 17-18, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). During last year’s two-day December deer-gun season, 9,447 deer were harvested.

Hunters still have opportunities to pursue deer this winter. Muzzleloader season is Jan. 7-10, 2017, and archery season remains open through Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.

Hunting Popularity

Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication.

Find more information about deer hunting in the Ohio 2016-2017 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at An updated deer harvest report is posted online each Wednesday at

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

Editor’s Note: A list of all white-tailed deer checked by hunters using firearms during the 2016 two-day deer-gun hunting season is shown below. The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for 2016, and the 2015 numbers are in parentheses.

Adams: 138 (209); Allen: 60 (21); Ashland: 138 (142); Ashtabula: 422 (305); Athens: 174 (212); Auglaize: 35 (38); Belmont: 226 (216); Brown: 124 (162); Butler: 29 (51); Carroll: 184 (211); Champaign: 39 (41); Clark: 24 (21); Clermont: 85 (95); Clinton: 36 (37); Columbiana: 194 (196); Coshocton: 210 (349); Crawford: 57 (59); Cuyahoga: 3 (1); Darke: 19 (19); Defiance: 118 (74); Delaware: 52 (60); Erie: 44 (21); Fairfield: 89 (85); Fayette: 17 (10); Franklin: 23 (24); Fulton: 56 (16); Gallia: 139 (165); Geauga: 105 (77); Greene: 35 (21); Guernsey: 302 (263); Hamilton: 29 (21); Hancock: 58 (34); Hardin: 53 (53); Harrison: 193 (228); Henry: 41 (25); Highland: 121 (147); Hocking: 153 (203); Holmes: 118 (209); Huron: 162 (107); Jackson: 149 (194); Jefferson: 168 (169); Knox: 146 (236); Lake: 32 (21); Lawrence: 113 (147); Licking: 195 (236); Logan: 60 (86); Lorain: 169 (98); Lucas: 27 (10); Madison: 18 (26); Mahoning: 131 (107); Marion: 43 (55); Medina: 147 (83); Meigs: 188 (229); Mercer: 32 (18); Miami: 26 (37); Monroe: 156 (156); Montgomery: 16 (14); Morgan: 146 (181); Morrow: 70 (71); Muskingum: 256 (284); Noble: 138 (202); Ottawa: 31 (7); Paulding: 64 (34); Perry: 173 (181); Pickaway: 42 (38); Pike: 104 (140); Portage: 136 (88); Preble: 50 (29); Putnam: 45 (19); Richland: 164 (150); Ross: 146 (185); Sandusky: 66 (29); Scioto: 137 (164); Seneca: 100 (84); Shelby: 44 (34); Stark: 153 (124); Summit: 41 (26); Trumbull: 266 (166); Tuscarawas: 260 (296); Union: 28 (32); Van Wert: 24 (15); Vinton: 125 (201); Warren: 42 (44); Washington: 140 (210); Wayne: 92 (109); Williams: 127 (51); Wood: 37 (31); Wyandot: 60 (72); Total: 9,228 (9,447).


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Shannon Condon and Gina Boerger.
Versailles Health Care Center is pleased to recognize Physical Therapist, Gina Boerger, as the winner of the 2016 Peter D. Mosher Education Leadership Conference Award Honoree. The award was created in memory of Peter D. Mosher, PT, DPT, OCS, who on December 7, 2013, took his final breath at 32 years of age. He was an assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was also the Chair of the Ohio-Kentucky Consortium of Physical Therapy Programs for Clinical Education as well as an accomplished author and presenter in the profession of physical therapy.

This award has been designed to recognize an individual who demonstrates the characteristics of compassion, excellence, and a vision for physical therapy clinical education. Award recipients received a certificate of recognition and reimbursement for up to $1,000 to attend the annual APTA Education Leadership Conference. The nominations and selection procedures were as follows:

  • Licensed PT educator who affiliate with at least one of the Ohio-Kentucky Consortium member institutions
  • Self-nominate through an application process
  • Have demonstrated the characteristics of compassion and excellence
  • Have a vision for physical therapy clinical education

Boerger was selected among 13 candidates, based upon the tenets of compassion, excellence, and a vision for clinical education. According to the Ohio-Kentucky Consortium of Physical Therapy Programs website, “The description of the portfolios she (Boerger) has staff complete to establish their ‘compass’ and then model this concept for the students is extraordinary. Her mission statement is exemplary in describing attitudes of professionals who function at the highest level. The process she described as humbling and collaborative during development of residency programs and her description of future interprofessional opportunities, use of telehealth, fiscal accountability and APTA membership all set her apart.”

Boerger, who received the award at the Education and Leadership Conference held in October in Phoenix, Arizona, said “I am honored to receive this award. I feel lucky to have known and worked with Pete over the years. I knew him even before he was a DPT and I was always impressed with his intelligence, confidence, and drive at such a young age (younger than me). In his short time, he did many great things. The application for this award was the easiest thing for me to write. I just really enjoy having students. Thank you for making me reflect on why I love working with them.”

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Ladybug Garden Club Honors Greenville Street Department

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Greenville Street Department employees were honored by the Ladybug Garden Club for their outstanding achievement in design and maintenance of Christmas lighting on the traffic circle, the downtown, and other community beautification areas.

Shown left to right are Ryan Eldridge, Wes Wirrig, Jason Howard, Chris Hunt, Rob Weyant, Ryan Delk, Richard Delk, Ladybug members Angela Beumer and Sherri Jones, Dylan Hackney and Matt Myers.

Their effort has made the Christmas season much brighter for those driving around the circle and while shopping downtown.

Greenville Schools Foundation Announces 500 Club Drawing Winners

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The Greenville Schools Foundation held its third of nine drawings for the 500 Club raffle. First place for $50.00 went to Leslie Miracle. Second was Sarah Rindler for $20.00, and third place went to Angela Reece for $10.00.

Tickets are still available and are good for the duration of the nine month raffle. The cost is $10.00. You can buy your 500 Club tickets from any board member or by calling 548-9895 or 548-1530.

Proceeds from the sale of 500 Club tickets benefit a large variety of activities for Greenvile students.

St. John Lutheran Church to Host "Homecoming" Christmas

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Melody Line Entertains BPW Club Members

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Melody Line Chorus members with BPW Christmas Committee Members Deb Smith and Erica Wentworth
Greenville, OH. The Greenville Business & Professional Women’s (BPW) Club held their monthly meeting December 8th at the Brethren Retirement Community. The meeting was hosted by the Christmas committee with Deb Smith (Chair), Erica Wentworth, Shirley Morrow, and Jennifer Fleagle. The program was presented by the vocal group Melody Line who sang various Christmas music selections.

Each year the club donates items to a charity at Christmas. BPW members brought items to the meeting for the Gatlinburg, TN fire relief which were delivered to the Early Bird to add to their collection of items which they delivered to the Oliver Floyd Funeral home drop off location.

The ‘Super Raffle’ winners were also drawn at the meeting. Winners are: Merry Lee Cross (Austrian necklace made with Swarovski elements donated by Wieland Jewelers), Scott Garrison (Travel Package from Sue Christian’s Good Times Fun Times), Kim Villa Senior (4 speed diamond blender donated by Kitchenaid) and Carey Driscoll (2 tickets for a Versailles Winery Thrill of the Grill event). A big thank you to all the sponsors who donated prizes as well as all those who purchased raffle tickets. Proceeds are used for scholarships for the young women of Darke County.

The Greenville BPW Club’s mission is to achieve equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education, and information. Dinner meetings are held the second Thursday of every month. The next meeting will be held January 12th and will be hosted by the Young Careerist committee. Those interested in learning more about the Club can contact Membership Chair Deb Smith at 937/417-2434 or

Zechar Bailey Funeral Honors Staff During National Hospice Month

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Members of the staff of State of the Heart Care and Zechar Bailey Funeral Home. 
Zechar Bailey Funeral Home continued their tradition this year of ordering breakfast from Montage Café for the staff at State of the Heart Care. Each November for the past several years, Zechar Bailey has been providing this breakfast during National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.

Every year, nearly 1.6 million people living with a life-limiting illness receive care from hospice and palliative care providers in this country. State of the Heart Care staff are highly-trained professionals that ensure that patients and families find dignity, respect, and love during life’s most difficult journey. Hospice and palliative care programs provide pain management, symptom control, psychosocial support, and spiritual care to patients and their families who are battling a life-limiting illness. Hospice and palliative care combines the highest level of quality medical care with the emotional and spiritual support that families need most when facing the end of life. Through this specialized quality care, we see many patients and their families experience more meaningful moments together. Hospice helps them focus on living despite a terminal diagnoses.

“The breakfast is just a simple way of showing our gratitude for what State of the Heart does for our community. We truly appreciate what they do for the families we are so honored to be able to serve,” shared Phillip Pierri of Zechar Bailey. The goal of Zechar Bailey Funeral Home, a Dignity Memorial provider in Greenville, Ohio, is to ease the most difficult time of families with comprehensive, exceptional customer service. On behalf of all of the staff at State of the Heart Care, we would like to thank everyone at Zechar Bailey for the breakfast as well as all they do for our community.


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L to R:  VHCC Long-term care residents Mary Ritter and Irene Freisthler with Santa.
Versailles Health Care Center hosted its annual Christmas party for patients and residents and their family and friends. It was an evening filled with fun, food, and family! Therese Pohlman, Business Office Manager, greeted and welcomed guests to start the evening.

VHCC’s Transitional Care Unit (TCU) Lounge had a vineyard of flavorful wines to sample from The Winery at Versailles. The Ohio State University (OSU) Lounge boasted decadent chocolates from Winans Chocolates & Coffees of Piqua. In the main Dining Room, many wonderful hor d’oeuvres were served and Bill Corfield crooned out beautiful sounds of Christmas for all to enjoy. The South Dining Room belonged to Santa. Santa had a surprise for everyone who visited him. While waiting to visit Santa, cookies and punch were enjoyed while listening to music from the group New Dawn Trio
Kristy Earick, CEO/Administrator, thanked all for coming and wished everyone a Merry Christmas! “Over the years, this has become my favorite event with our families. It’s a time when our families truly get to spend time together and create new memories while reminiscing old times. It’s a time to say thank you and truly appreciate our residents and patients and their family and friends by splurging with holiday food, drinks, and entertainment. It’s also a time to remember those who are less fortunate, those who may not have a place to live, and those with no family. This event reminds me of how fortunate we are as employees to get to take care of people we love and care about. What a privilege! We are honored to provide a home and become family to our residents and honored to provide a home away from home for our short-term rehab patients.”

Versailles Health Care Center is a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center that offers short-term rehab services, outpatient therapy, and long-term care. Versailles Health Care Center sent home 197 patients who utilized its short-term rehab services in 2015 and 182 so far in 2016! If you are interested in learning more about Versailles Health Care Center, please call at 937-526-5570 or visit on the web at

Castine Church to host Candlelight Service December 24th.

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Please join us at the Castine Church of the Brethren for a great evening of worship, drama and song. This year we are focusing on "The Gift" during the Christmas season. We will meet in the Life Center (behind the church) at 8pm on December 24th to begin with a drama starring Kathy Gootee and Dave Shives (directed/written by Brenda Johnson) then we will share with the praise team in song led by Emily Schulte/director of arts, and followed by a message of Hope from Pastor Greg Hyre. We will conclude with a candlelight service. A photo booth will also be available, as well as great fellowship. Plan to attend and bring family and friends. All are welcome! It is the season of Love, Joy, Peace, and Hope...the many gifts of Christmas.

To check out the promo video, click here:

Castine COB is located at 624 US-127, Arcanum, OH 45304

Edison Foundation Raises Over $40K for Student Scholarships

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The Texas Tenors perform “Amazing Grace” in front of a
crowded audience at the Edison Foundation’s 19th
annual Holiday Evening.
The Edison Foundation at Edison State Community College held its 19th annual Holiday Evening on Wednesday, December 7, to help raise money for student scholarships. The evening featured The Texas Tenors as the headlining entertainment for the night’s festivities.

Nearly 350 guests attended the annual gala, where they enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and the company of others. While a majority of the guests in attendance were local, several out-of-state guests attended to see the evening’s entertainment as they performed their special holiday show, “Deep in the Heart of Christmas.”

Proceeds from the evening benefit the Edison Foundation’s General Scholarship Fund, which directly assists recent high school graduates and those returning to the classroom to start, change or advance their careers.

“Each ticket that was sold is helping support students through scholarship opportunities,” said Rick Hanes, Vice President of Business and Community Partnerships. “I have each guest to thank, as well as, the evening’s presenting sponsors, Emerson and Premier Health–Upper Valley Medical Center, for making this event a success. Every dollar counts when it comes to helping students achieve their dreams.”

This year’s event raised over $40,000, which will assist countless students in the upcoming academic year, including the Thomas Alva Edison recipients, who are in the top 15% of their high school class.

“It’s great to see so many people willing to help support a worthy cause, especially around the holidays,” said Edison State President, Dr. Doreen Larson. “The students that receive these scholarships often find themselves with one less stress while pursuing their education, and that says a lot. We want to see students have a positive college experience and succeed, which is the whole reason behind this event.”

Also contributing to the success of the event were the evening’s co-chairs, Ed and Kay Curry, of Greenville, who were instrumental in helping to garner additional sponsorships.

This year’s entertainment featured stunning vocals as they performed classic holiday hits as well as music of their own. The crowd rose to their feet for a moving rendition of Lee Greenwood’s “Gold Bless The U.S.A,” as the American flag waived.

The celebration of the holiday season includes past performances by world-renowned musician Tim Janis, Australia’s The Ten Tenors, Straight No Chaser, The Toledo Symphony Orchestra and former Tonight Show bandleader Doc Severinson.

To learn more about Holiday Evening and view a slideshow of the evening’s proceedings and attendees, visit

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Allegations of Hazing Investigated at Tri-Village High School

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On December 15, 2016 the Darke County Sheriff’s Office was notified of possible incidents of hazing occurring at Tri-Village High School.  Darke County Sheriff’s Office detectives responded to the school to investigate the claims.  Upon arrival investigators learned that Tri-Village School officials had already started an investigation and disciplinary process based on some of the allegations reported.  Tri-Village School officials cooperated in the Sheriff’s Office investigation.

At this point in the investigation Darke County detectives have interviewed approximately 11 people in the case.  Preliminary information supports that misdemeanor hazing incidents have occurred among students on the Tri-Village High School basket ball team.  The evidence at this time indicates that school staff responded to the incidents as soon as it was reported to them.  There is no evidence or information to substantiate allegations of sexual assault or felony conduct.

Darke County Prosecutor R. Kelly Ormsby has been briefed on the evidence in the case to date.  He will review the case when the investigative report is completed and discuss the circumstances with any victims and their family before deciding whether charges may be filed.

State of the Heart Care Staff Donates to Troops Overseas

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State of the Heart Care has committed to giving back to the communities they serve. For a November Community Service activity, the staff collected items to be sent to troops serving overseas. The staff found a need at an Army Base in Iraq. After taking up a collection of items needed such as toiletries, snacks, wipes and many other needs, over 20 care packages were made and sent to Iraq and other bases across the world. Thanks to Zechar Bailey Funeral Home for taking care of the postage and getting all of the boxes out for delivery.

Megan Stull, Care Consultant for State of the Heart Care organized the drive. “I wanted to do something for our troops who are miles away from their families,” Megan shared. “At State of the Heart we are very family oriented and felt this was the perfect opportunity to give back. The smiles we got from the soldiers faces through pictures were pretty powerful. I am very thankful to be a part of such a great organization with State of the Heart Care.”

“Being overseas, one of the biggest morale boosters us soldiers can get is mail,” shared Nathan Hill, SPC, upon receiving the packages. “Myself and everyone here with me would like to give a huge thank you to State of the Heart Care and Zechar Bailey Funeral Home for sending close to 20 packages to us over here! It’s the little things that can make a huge difference!” State of the Heart would like to thank all service men and women and their families for all that they do.

Pictured are Megan Stull and Angela Hart, State of the Heart Care staff members working on organizing all of the items collected.


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GREENVILLE – The Greenville Area Dog Club winter obedience and conformation classes begins January 10, 2017. Through the years more classes have been added to meet the growing interest in dog training and many people like the variety of classes available.

The Greenville Area Dog Club will be offering classes at the former U.S. Chemical building, located in the 5400 block of State Route 49.

Conformation Class will be offered by request. This class is for the pure breed owner who wishes to begin training their dog to perform in the breed show ring. If you feel that you have a dog that you want to breed and receive a championship on that dog, then you will find that our two conformation instructors can really make that journey possible. Conformation is the showing of breed dogs (males) and bitches (females) against other specimens in their breed. There is a certain way of running your dog to show off his or her best body qualities required in the standard for that breed. There are many things to learn to best present your animal in the show ring to be able to get points towards a championship. This you will learn in this class. Preregistration is required for this class. Please contact 548-0338 for more information.

Obedience classes begin Tuesday, January 10th. and will include, Puppy (12 weeks to five months),and Beginner Obedience. For those who have completed the beginner class and wish to continue on with their training, Novice & Advanced Rally Obedience class will be offered this 8 weeks. A Refresher and Advanced Obedience class will be offered.
“Our puppy and beginning obedience classes are designed to teach basic house manners, grooming and care of the dog, heeling, sit, down, stay, come and other commands,” said Barb Rhoades, Director of Obedience Training.

She also added that a new class will be offered to those who have completed beginner or have some past training in classes and want to continue with training. The Novice and Advanced Rally Classes is for students who want to try something new in obedience and challenge themselves and their dog. The requirement for Rally Novice and Advanced obedience class is that the dog and handler be able to execute all the basic obedience commands without much difficulty.

Darke County Republican Women's Club Installs 2017-2018 Officers

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Installation of the 2017-2018 officers for the Darke County Republican Women’s Club was done by Kay Seiler during the December 12th meeting/Christmas Party.

Pictured below left to right are: President: JoEllen Melling, Secretary: Katie Grow, Kay Seiler, First Vice President: Betty Hill, Treasurer: Marilyn Hittle.


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VHCC staff L to R: Jackie McEldowney, Therese Pohlman, Larry Pierron, Amber Whittaker, and Kristy Earick.
Versailles Health Care Center recently collected non-perishable food items from staff, family and friends. The food items were donated to the Council of Churches in Versailles for community distribution. Versailles Health Care Center would like to thank everyone who contributed to the collection!

Registration is open now through January 6 for YMCA basketball leagues in Versailles

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Kids who participate in youth basketball at the Y are able to develop a variety of skills, from catching and dribbling to teamwork and sportsmanship. Just as important, they learn firsthand the benefits of being healthy and active—and that virtual games just can’t compare to the real thing.

The basketball league will be at the Versailles Branch.

There will be teams for two age groups, ages 4-6 and ages 7-10.

Pre-season for the 7-10 age group is Jan. 7 at 9:00 AM.

(No pre-season for the 4-6 age group.)

Practices are January 14 and 21.

Games are January 28 through March 4.

The league is $25 for Members and $50 for Potential Members. All participants will receive a t-shirt.

Volunteer coaches are crucial to the league’s success. Anyone interested in coaching should come to the meeting for volunteer coaches on January 10, at 6:00 PM in Versailles.

Questions may be directed to Tyler Roberts, at or 548-3777.

Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland a Great Success

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Santa said he had “never gotten so many requests for farms, fields, or farm equipment before” as he passed out candy canes to the children of Darke County.
Darke County Parks’ annual Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland holiday event saw one of the largest crowds ever on Saturday December 3rd. This was the 9th year Darke County Parks has hosted this public and staff favorite event. Over 700 people made their way through the half mile trail of Shawnee Prairie Preserve lit with nearly 500 luminaries and crisp with the hint of the coming winter on the air. Attendees also enjoyed decorating gingerbread men, delighting in the 14 decorated Christmas trees, and constructing Christmas ornaments in the Nature Center. The Friends of the Darke County Parks Gift Shop was open selling stocking stuffers, Christmas tree ornaments, and much more. St. Nick even stopped in to see what was going on and visit with some good little girls and boys.

At the log house, “200 year old” staff and volunteers welcomed the chilly travelers in true historic style with spiced cider warmed at the hearth and ginger molasses cookies. A mountain dulcimer filled the air with Christmas peace, and even inspired some singing. Upstairs visitors were invited to string popcorn and cranberries to decorate their trees or feed their birds at home. Outside at the blacksmith shop, the anvil rang, and the forged glowed bright.

Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland has proven time and again to be the staff’s favorite event, and this year was no exception.

Roger Van Frank, Director, said, “The weather was perfect. I would like to thank all the volunteers, staff, and public for making this such a successful event yet again.” If you missed it this year, next year will be the 10th annual and will be held the first Saturday in December 2017. The staff is already planning to make it extra special with an extended trail and new activities. The Darke County Park District staff wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

Project FeederWatch at DCP

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The American Goldfinch’s bright yellow summer plumage
becomes a much duller, almost green color, in winter.
Calling all birders! Join Darke County Park District, and participate in Project FeederWatch, every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:30-11:30am. This is a unique citizen science program organized by Cornell University which studies winter bird populations. Observations from here in Darke County may be used in scientific journals and shared with ornithologists and bird lovers nationwide. No matter your birding level, beginner or expert, we need YOUR help! Bird watchers will gather inside the Nature Center at Shawnee Prairie Preserve (4267 St. Rt. 502 West) and count the birds that visit the bird-feeding station. Drop in anytime on Tuesday or Wednesday from 9:30am-11:30am to help with the project. There will be warm drinks available for those enjoying nature from the comfort of an armchair on a cold winter’s day.

For more information on Project FeederWatch or if you have questions about any of the many other programs offered by the Darke County Park District, call the Nature Center at (937) 548-0165.

Shawnee Prairie Preserve Nature Center Holiday Closures

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The Darke County Parks Nature Center located at Shawnee Prairie Preserve just west of Greenville will be closed December 24th, December 26th, and January 2nd for Christmas and New Year’s Day observances. The building’s exhibits and offices as well as the Friends of Darke County Parks Gift Shop are regularly open Monday through Saturday 9am to 5pm, and closed on Sunday. The park trails however are open every day throughout the year from sunrise to sunset. Don’t forget to enjoy your Darke County Parks this winter.

Fort GreeneVille Chapter DAR - Holiday Activities

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Fort GreeneVille Chapter DAR has been busy this holiday season. Chapter members decorated Christmas trees at the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center and the Garst Museum.

Members also donated mittens and hats at the Mitten Tree at Montage Café.

Shawnee Prairie Nature Center: Caroline Petitjean, Shirley Hughes and Helen Wright

Mitten Tree: Rachael and Lauren Wright, Helen Wright, Shirley Hughes, Taylor and Chris Nehring and Brenda Arnett

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Shaltry Retires from DCP Board of Commissioners

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Darke County Parks Board Commissioner L. Stephen Shaltry has served Darke County for over 24 years as a board member of the Darke County Park District, but as 2016 draws to a close so do the last of his obligations as a commissioner. On January 1st Shaltry will be officially retired, but his years of service were honored recently at the Friends of the Darke County Park District annual Christmas carry-in dinner.

During the festivities, former park board members Susan Gray and Dan Schipfer praised Shaltry’s efforts, patience, and diligence during his tenure, and he was presented with commendations from both the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives of the 131st General Assembly as well as State Representative Jim Buchy for his service to the county.

Park Commissioner Shaltry has been a resident of Darke County since moving here in 1973. Before retiring from his regular occupation as a high school biology teacher at Northmont High School in Clayton, he balanced school obligations and raising a young family while continuing to provide excellent council and management of board responsibilities. During his tenure, the Darke County Parks District has grown exponentially. When he first began, the parks owned a meager 200 acres, and now they have expanded to over 1,000 acres. Other improvements, under his direction include building the Shawnee Prairie Nature Education Center in 1997, establishing most of the prairies and wetlands featured in the park, and the continuing construction of the Tecumseh Multi-Use Trail running from Bradford almost to the Greenville City limits.

Darke County Park District Director, Roger Van Frank praised Shaltry and his efforts for the parks saying, “Steve has been not only a mentor and an educator to me, he has also become a valued friend. I wish him well in his retirement from our parks, and I will sincerely miss his reassuring presence in the office.”

Tina White, a long time park volunteer, will be stepping into Shaltry’s vacant position on the board in January and has expressed excitement about the challenge, citing that she has “big shoes to fill.” The rest of the Darke County Park Board of Commissioners, staff, and volunteers would like to wish Steve Shaltry a happy retirement, and they know that they will continue seeing him at the parks and on the trails indulging his love of nature.

The Annual Christmas Bird Count

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Volunteers check out the birds at Shawnee Prairie Preserve.
The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a census of birds in the Western Hemisphere, performed by volunteer birdwatchers and administered by the National Audubon Society. The purpose is to provide population data for use in science, especially conservation biology, though many people participate for recreation.

Up through the 19th century, many North Americans participated in the tradition of Christmas "side hunts", in which they competed to see how many birds they could kill, regardless of whether they would use the meat or whether the birds were beneficial, beautiful, or rare. In December 1900, the U.S. ornithologist Frank Chapman proposed counting birds on Christmas instead of killing them. Since then the counts have been held every winter, usually with increasing numbers of observers. Participation is open to all and is free.

Each individual count is performed in a "count circle" with a diameter of 15 miles. At least ten volunteers break up into small parties and follow assigned routes, which change little from year to year, counting every bird they see. In most count circles, some people also watch feeders instead of following routes.

The results are by no means as accurate as a human census. Not all the area, even in the count circles, is covered, and not every bird along the routes is seen or identified. Big flocks can't be counted precisely. Regardless, the information provided helps scientists study the trends in populations and better define the edges of the birds’ winter ranges.

The Darke County Birders Club in conjunction with the Darke Countians for Wildlife Conservation will be participating in the annual event on Sunday December 18 and will meet at North McDonalds in Greenville at 7:30am for location assignments. For more information about the Christmas Bird Count visit the National Audubon Society website at [], and for questions or to help out with this year’s Darke County count, contact Bob Welch with Darke Countians for Wildlife Conservation at (937) 423-1596 or

Christmas Eve Service at the Greenville Church of the Brethren

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We invite the community to our Christmas Eve Service on Saturday, Dec. 24th @ 8:00 pm at the Greenville Church of the Brethren, 421 Central Avenue. We will celebrate the single most joyous event in all of history – the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Come experience the gift God sent over 2,000 years ago through some of the greatest Christmas carols of our faith. “Christmas Through The Carols” will connect us with the story of Christmas through narration, Scripture, traditional carols, contemporary Christmas songs and of course the lighting of candles. A nursery is provided. For more information call 548-3583.

Ladybug Garden Cub Awards Local Businesses

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The Ladybug Garden Cub has chosen two businesses for outstanding achievement in design and maintenance of commercial property and community beautification in Christmas decorating. The Countryside Bike Shop, owned by Bob and Diana Bitner, is located at 301 South Broadway in Greenville. The shop is a full service bike shop, offering New Raleigh product, parts and accessories, repairs for all makes and models. Shown is Bob Bitner, Ladybug member Lisa Marcum, Diana Bitner, Ladybug members Angela Beumer and Sherri Jones.

The Corner Cottage Gift Shoppe, located at 6270 Jaysville-St. John Road (corner of State Route 36 East and Jaysville St. John Road) was also chosen for outstanding Christmas decorating and creative decor on the outside of their property. The Shoppe is owned and operated by Monte and Terri Clemens. The Clemens have been decorating the property, year round, since 1983. Shown is Ladybug member Lisa Marcum, Terri Clemens, Monte Clemens, and Ladybug member Angela Beumer.


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Donor Karen Shutts with CBC’s Peggy Walters completing
her first apheresis donation.
DAYTON, Ohio - Women blood donors now have more opportunity to help save lives. Thanks to newly available testing Community Blood Center is welcoming new female platelet and plasma donors for the first time in seven years.

CBC is encouraging women whole blood donors with blood types A positive, B positive, and type AB to consider becoming apheresis donors. Whole blood donors interested in learning if they are eligible to donate platelets and plasma should call CBC’s Ashley Christian at (937) 461-3476.
Darke County donors have the opportunity to make apheresis donations at the Dec. 13 Darke County Lions Clubs blood drive at the Greenville Church of the Brethren and select CBC blood drives in in Greenville and Versailles.

CBC is conducting platelet counts on all male and females (excluding O positive and O negative blood types) currently being recruited as whole blood donors.

Previously, CBC has recruited only male donors for apheresis because of risks associated with women donors who have been pregnant. Only females who had donated platelets and had a proven successful transfusion history were eligible to donate platelets.

The concern is that pregnancy may cause the body to produce antibodies against human leukocyte antigens (HLA). The potentially fatal syndrome Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury (TRALI) is the most harmful condition associated with HLA antibodies.

CBC is now able to perform HLA testing on females who have been pregnant (or have been pregnant since their HLA was last tested), and all pedigreed female apheresis donors. Women who test negative for HLA antibodies can become eligible to donate platelets and plasma.

CBC welcomed its first female apheresis donors in seven years at the Oct. 12 Wilmington Eagles blood drive. Wilmington’s Karen Shutts and Kristina Cornett both made their first platelet donations.

Prior to that first apheresis donation Karen had made seven whole blood donations. She said she remembered seeing apheresis donations taking place at previous Wilmington Eagles blood drives and asking “What are they doing over there?”

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