Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Rocks, Coffee & Cake with Darke County Parks

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If you’re looking for something to do this Saturday (January 25th) the Darke County Parks has you covered!

Join us in the morning at the Bish Discovery Center for some freshly brewed coffee and tasty cake. During this program, “Coffee and Cake”, attendees will learn about the history of coffee, how coffee as a crop affects the environment and the difference between shade-grown and conventional. “Coffee and Cake” will start at 10 am.

When you’re finished with your coffee, head over to the Nature Center at the Shawnee Prairie Preserve for “Rock Talk”, a celebration of rocks! Bring your favorite rocks from your collection and we’ll share the stories behind them. There will also be some rock-themed desserts to enjoy! “Rock Talk” will begin at 2 pm.

Registration is required for both of these FREE events. Visit www.darkecountyparks.org or call 937-548-0165 to register today.

2020 Festival Theme Announced

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In advance of the upcoming festival, and to allow parade and festival preparation, the Poultry Days Board is proud to announce the 2020 theme. The 2020 festival theme is a salute to all those hard-working drivers, dispatchers and mechanics who keep the freight moving and have contributed to the growth of Versailles. The 2020 festival theme is “Loaded Up & Cluckin”.

Think trucker hats, CB radios, and movies like “Convoy” and “Smokey and the Bandit” for a fun way to celebrate. The theme was selected by 2020 Festival Chairman Lucas Subler. The theme artwork is being drafted by local artist Quincy Baltes and will be released closer to the festival. All bands have been selected and the board is still accepting nominations for the Honorary Parade Marshal.

Festival Chairman Lucas Subler has been on the Poultry Days Board of Directors for 9 years. Lucas is employed at Classic Carriers, is a Versailles graduate and attended Bowling Green State University. Lucas resides in Versailles with his wife Courtney, and children Ariel, Kathryn and Alexander.

Versailles’ 69th annual Poultry Days Festival will be held June 12, 13, and 14th. As one of Ohio’s oldest festivals, this event celebrates the area’s poultry-producing history and its sense of community. The board welcomes everyone to visit Versailles and enjoy the festival. Registration information for Miss Chick and other festival events will be posted as available at www.versaillespoultrydays.com.

Greenville City Schools Update - January 2020

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Submitted by Superintendent Doug Fries

Greenville City Schools has had a great first semester of the 2019-2020 school year, both academically and with extracurricular 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 returned from Winter Break this year on Thursday, January 6, 2020. There will be no school on Martin Luther King Day, January 20, 2020 and the first semester ends on Friday, January 17, 2020. There will also be a staff workday on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 with no school for students.

The K-8 complex continues to function with all bus drop off and pickups from the rear of the building and all parent drop off and pick-ups from the front of the building. We continue to appreciate everyone slowing down on Ohio Street and Main Street in the school zone to allow for a safe traffic flow. Please maintain this slow traffic movement to assist with safety in all the school parking lots as well.

We have been fortunate, thus far this school year, to have used few calamity days. We are again operating on days, not hours, for our school year requirements. Thus, we have three calamity days available to use before implementing any make-up days. The established make up days for this school year, if needed, are February 17th, May 28th, 29th, June 1st and 2nd. February 17th would only be used if six days were missed before that day. As we enter the coldest of the winter season, I encourage everyone to dress for the weather, particularly at bus stops, with heavy coats, hats, scarves and gloves. We try hard to arrive on scheduled times at bus stops, but weather conditions sometimes dictate being a little behind to maintain safety. I encourage all student drivers to take their time driving to and from school and in and around parking lots of the school throughout the winter season. We will try to communicate school delays and cancellations by One call, Channel 5, on our Facebook page, Dayton television stations, the local Tiger radio station, as well as, putting on our website.

For the fifth straight year, our district has successfully implemented the College Credit Plus Program at the High school. This program continues to benefit our students by allowing them to receive college credit while in high school. We have more than one hundred thirty students taking advantage of this program. Also, at the High School, we have implemented for the fourth year MAP testing in grades nine and ten. This is testing done three times during the year to measure student progress and help assist us in where students will perform on their end of course assessments. The High School is working hard to meet required curriculum standards to prepare students for these end of course exams.

At the elementary and middle school level, we have advanced our one to one iPad technology program through the eighth grade for the second year. All students K-8 are working with one to one technology initiative, as well as, the ESpark curriculum K-6. The district continues to use the Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) testing in the K-8. Again, the MAP test is a close measure on our student performance for end of year required state assessments. The K-8 is in their second testing window right now through the first week of February.

Greenville Schools Foundation Announces 500 Club Drawing Winners

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The Greenville Schools Foundation recently held its fourth of nine drawings for the 500 Club raffle. Winners to date in the nine month event are:

  • First place ($50.00 winners) - Hittle Buick, Sharon VandenBosch, Carl Brown, Rhonda Shaar
  • Second place ($20.00 winners) - Charlene Thornhill, Ann Reed, Linda Allread, Heather Heiser
  • Third place ($10.00 winners) - Krista Quellhorst, Greg Surber, Susan Barker, Marcia Kelly

The directors of the foundation wish to thank everyone who has purchased tickets and helped to fulfill the mission to provide funding that benefits a large variety of activities for students of Greenvile City Schools.

Tickets continue to be available and there are still 15 more chances to win! The cost is $10.00. You can buy your

500 Club tickets from any board member or by calling 548-9895 or 548-1530.

Big Buddies program announces volunteers, seeks more role models

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ANSONIA — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County has named the Ansonia High School volunteers who are participating in its Buddies program this year.

The Big Buddies program is a nine-month commitment, during which high school students work with and mentor elementary-aged children two times per month. During these meetings, the high school students, under the supervision of Big Brothers Big Sisters staff, work with one or two children on different educational and recreational activities. The year’s Big Brothers Big Sisters utilizes the Peace Education Foundation’s “Peace Works” curriculum, which focuses on violence prevention, social and emotional development, conflict resolution, mediation skills, character and values, and bullying prevention.

Ansonia High School volunteers include: Lilian Billenstein, Shelby Crafton, Lynndie Davis, Kianna Dishman, Hannah Hartzell, Madison Kinner, Jacob Longenecker, Chad Milikin, Reganne O'Connor, Julie Oswalt, Leann Ressler, Connor Schmit, Hailey Sebring, Mackenzie Singer, Connor Stachler, Jess Thomas, Allison Warner, Madison Warner and Ally Wright.

In addition to the after-school Big Buddies program, the agency has numerous community-based matches throughout Shelby and Darke counties. These matches meet with each other twice a month for outings, which are planned around the volunteer’s schedule. The goal of the community-based program is to match a local child with an adult mentor who can serve as a positive role model and expose the child to enhancing and uplifting activities.

Big Brother Big Sister is seeking volunteers, donors and event sponsors all throughout the year. To learn how to become a volunteer or learn how to make a difference in a child’s life, call 937-547-9622 or go to www.bigbrobigsis-shelbydarke.org. The organization can also be reached on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Edison State Sees Big Enrollment Increase for Spring Semester

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With the support of state initiatives, Edison State Community College continues to thrive, experiencing an ongoing enrollment increase while other higher education institutions are flat or down in enrollment. This spring, the college is reporting an 8.46-percent increase in overall headcount and a 5.21-percent growth in credit hours.

One major area of increase is in the number of students taking classes who are ages 25 and older. This growth can be attributed to such state-funded grant initiatives as the Ohio Higher Education Finish for Your Future Adult Promise and the Ohio Strong Start to Finish initiative.

“The current administration recognizes and supports the role of community colleges in closing the skills gap. Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted are committed to developing resources for building effective partnerships. This is good news for Edison State and our students,” said Edison State President Dr. Doreen Larson.

The Ohio Strong Start to Finish (OhioSSF) initiative encourages students to complete gateway mathematics and English courses as part of a guided pathway within their first academic year. OhioSSF is also committed to reducing equity gaps for economically disadvantaged students, students of color, rural students, and students over age 25.

The goal of the Ohio Higher Education Finish for Your Future Adult Promise Initiative is to increase the population of adults over age 25 enrolled in public higher education from the current 27-percent to at least 40-percent by 2025. Additionally, Finish for Your Future strives to close the equity gaps between underrepresented minorities and adults in enrollment and completion.

Another contributing factor to this particular area of growth is Edison State’s workforce efforts. Edison State continues to work closely with regional employers to listen to their needs and develop the necessary programming to support their needs.

By participating in these state initiatives along with workforce efforts, Edison State has been able to contribute to the outlined goals, and ultimately, an increase in the number of students ages 25 and over.

Storm Spotter Training Available

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Darke County Emergency Management Agency will host an annual Storm Spotter Training on Monday, March 16th, 2020 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at Greenville Township Emergency Services - 1401 Sater St, Greenville, OH 45331. To register for this class online, please fill out the registration form at https://forms.gle/sutzoiciAcroZZGF9 or contact Josh Haney at 937-548-1444.

The training is conducted through the National Weather Service out of Wilmington Ohio and covers thunderstorm formation, severe weather production, and features associated with severe storms. Also, part of the class is tornado formation and behavior, non-threatening clues which may be mistaken for significant features, and safety when thunderstorms threaten. Details include storm ingredients, characteristics of severe storms, anatomy of a storm, super-cell storms and rotation.

By providing citizens with this education it allows the Weather Service to receive first hand reports of weather conditions from wherever the spotter is located. While “storm chasing” is not advised, reporting from your home, work or car (etc.) provides valuable information directly to meteorologists making decisions on watches and warnings.

With Spring Severe Weather and Flood Awareness Week coming up March 22nd – 28th, 2020 it’s a great time to think about preparing ourselves and families for the threat of severe spring/summer storms. If you do not currently own a NOAA Weather Radio consider purchasing one. These radios are programmable with voice and/alarm modes that will notify you, your family or your business of impending severe weather any time of day.

If you have any questions or would like additional information about preparing yourself, your family or your business, please contact the Darke County Emergency Management Agency at 937-548-1444 or through our website www.darkecountyema.org.

EMT scholarship available to area residents

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Spirit Medical Transport, LLC, has announced it will again consider those interested in mobile healthcare for its scholarship offering to become an emergency medical technician.

Spirit is now accepting scholarship applications from individuals who have an interest in becoming an EMT and working full-time for Spirit once they’ve successfully completed their class, passed their national EMT test, and completed field training. The “full-ride” scholarship involves a two-year, full-time, employment commitment to Spirit. Application requests can be made by going online to the Spirit webpage at www.spiritmedicaltransport.com and clicking on the graduation cap, or by emailing Spirit’s Director of Human Resources and Regulatory Compliance Ted Bruner at tbruner@spiritmedicaltransport.com. The application deadline is Thursday, January 24, 2019, at 5 p.m.

After submitting the application, candidates will be interviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis by a member of the Spirit Human Resources Department. Panel interviews of scholarship finalists will take place the week of January 19th at Spirit’s Greenville office. Orientation day for successful applicants will be 1 p.m. January 26th. Successful candidates are paid while attending the classes.

The classes are a partnership between Spirit Medical Transport, LLC, and Four County Career Center based in Archbold, Ohio. Classes will be held five days a week starting February 10th through April 10th. Scott Kaminski of Four County Career Center will serve as lead instructor for the class, while John Parry, Josh Henry, Mike Woodford, and Scott Wolf will serve as secondary instructors. Class hours are typically held Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Spirit Education Center, 700 Riffle Ave., Greenville. The classes are adaptive to various learning styles and include trips to a cadaver lab, an emergency vehicle operations course, a class with Chief Medicolegal Death Investigator Joe Van Vickle of the Darke County Coroner’s Office regarding “CSI Files of Darke County;” lessons on the basics of customer service in EMS, just to name a few. Company owners also provide weekly meals to attending participants. Because of expanding educational opportunities, the education center just opened in late 2019.

Since the company-sponsored scholarship program first began in August 2017, over $550K has been invested into educating local people desirous of starting an EMT and/or paramedic career at Spirit Medical Transport, LLC.

Spirit currently has eight of its EMT’s finishing up an in-house paramedic class that started in August 2018. Starting in March 2019, it will be offering any current full-time employee a full-ride paramedic scholarship with scheduling flexibility. The paramedic classes will be held at the education center in Greenville. Additionally, Spirit just graduated seven recent EMT students and has seven more EMT’s in an Advanced EMT class that will end in May.

With offices in Greenville, Celina, Sidney, and Van Wert, Ohio, along with Liberty, Indiana, scholarships are open to people who live near their respective service areas. Company officials also provide transportation assistance to successful applicants who may not live near the class location, but still have an interest in taking advantage of the scholarship opportunity.

CUTLINE: Jacob Cain of Greenville is just one of more than 70 people from the local area who have benefited from Spirit’s EMT scholarship programs. Cain was recently named the valedictorian of Spirit’s first company sponsored paramedic class. Cain started his EMS career by taking classes as a high school senior and obtaining his EMT certification the summer following graduation.

Flu is Widespread in West Central Ohio

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Flu Cases and Hospitalizations are Spiking in the Region

Influenza is now widespread within the 8 county West Central Ohio region including: Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby counties. Influenza is a very contagious illness that strikes millions of Americans each year. Influenza, unlike the common cold, has a swift onset of severe symptoms beginning with two to seven days of fever, headache, muscle aches, extreme fatigue, and a cough.

Health officials are encouraging residents to protect themselves against the flu by getting vaccinated as soon as possible and by following other preventive actions as flu cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone
6 months and older get a flu shot now, as this is the time of year when there is usually an increase
in cases.

Through week 52 of the flu season, which ended Dec. 28, there have been 472 influenza-associated hospitalizations and 2,574 outpatient cases reported in the region. However, health officials know the numbers are higher, since many people who are infected with the flu do not go to the doctor.
Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

“It takes a couple of weeks after getting vaccinated for the flu vaccine to take effect,” said Emily Hoisington, Director of Nursing for Darke County General Health District. “With influenza continuing to rise, it is very important to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect not only yourself but also those around you; especially our vulnerable population - young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those who are immunocompromised.”

Many people in vulnerable groups are also visited by friends and relatives. When their visitors are immunized, that also makes it less likely to spread the flu to them.

In addition to getting a flu shot, the following preventive actions will help you stay healthy this
flu season:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based sanitizer when you are unable to wash.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread this way.
  • Get plenty of rest. Sleep is shown to help your body fight off illness.
  • When you are sick, stay home until you are fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.

Flu vaccines are offered at the Darke County Health Department Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm. For more information, call 937-548-4196 x235.

Monday, January 13, 2020

After School Program a Success

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The Darke County Park District began offering their new after-school program, “Conservation Kids”, in October 2019. The program continues to be successful with more children attending each month. Conservation Kids is held at the Bish Discovery Center on the second Tuesday of each month from 4:15 pm to 5:30 pm. The program requires registration but is FREE and open to children ages 8-11. Past months’ topics include conservation-based themes such as stream water quality, the water cycle, forest management, deforestation, biodiversity and more. January’s program will focus on wildlife conservation in Ohio. Students who attend will travel back through Ohio’s history to see how our actions have affected wildlife over the course of time. They will also get the chance to meet some wildlife ambassadors and learn about what they can do to protect animals and habitats here in Ohio.

If you’re interested in registering your student to attend the next Conservation Kids program, on January 14th, visit www.darkecountyparks.org/programs or call 937-548-0165.

Cancer Association of Darke County holds their annual Gourmet Dinner Raffle

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You could be the winner of this raffle!

A Gourmet Dinner for 8 will be prepared by a gourmet cooking team.

Tickets are currently available now through February 08, 2020 for $5 each or 6 for $25. The drawing will be held on February 11.

The date of the dinner is decided by the winner.

The winner gets to choose the location (Local) or a place can be chosen for you.

Cancer patients in Darke County are battling a difficult disease. Proceeds of this fundraiser will go to Cancer Association of Darke County to help local cancer patients.

To get your tickets, call Christine at 548-9960 or email director@cadcinfo.org.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Cancer Association of Darke County is holding their annual subs fundraiser

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If you like subs and brownies and you also like to help local cancer patients, the Cancer Association of Darke County would like your help with this fundraiser.

You can order subs and/or brownies now at a good price and pick them up in February.

The subs sell for $5 or $5.50 and the brownies are $1.00 each or $25 for a tray of 48.

The proceeds will be used to help local cancer patients.

The orders must be in by January 17, 2019 and can be picked up at First Assembly of God, 7219 St. Rt. 118, Greenville, Ohio, on February 8 from 12-2 pm.

You can get your order form by stopping in at the cancer office at 1111 Sweitzer Street in the Wayne Cancer Center, or by emailing director@cadcinfo.org, or calling the office at 548-9960 and let us know where you want the form sent.

Thank you for your continued support!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

State of the Heart Care Employees Attend Bereavement Skills Training

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Two staff members from State of the Heart Care, Bereavement Specialist Sarah Depoy and Social Services Manager Erin Meyer, recently attended the Comprehensive Bereavement Skills Training in Scottsdale, Arizona. The conference was led by world-renowned grief counselor, author, and educator Dr. Alan Wolfelt. With only 36 attendees, this was a very personable gathering that allowed for great conversations and breakout sessions on a smaller scale. Seminars during the conference covered topics on becoming more familiar with the grief process, enhancing abilities to relate to the grieving person or family, developing new skills to cope with personal feelings related to death and grief, and heightening awareness of resources in the areas of death, dying, grief, and bereavement. According to Dr. Wolfelt, he believes in “companioning” the bereaved, in contrast to the medical model of “treating patients.” He teaches that companioning is about being present to another person’s pain, honoring the spirit, listening with the heart, bearing witness to the struggles of others, and walking alongside them.

Erin described the conference as emotionally exhausting but rewarding at the same time. They learned about grief and loss and how to better help patients, families, and the communities State of the Heart Care serves. Currently, State of the Heart Care stays in touch with families for 13 months following the passing of a loved one. Erin shared that one of the takeaways she had from the conference was that the bereavement program may need to extend past 13 months to better support families. She also thought that there could be some ways to improve and expand grief groups. Sarah learned ways to listen to clients better to read where they are in the grief process and how to start that journey with them. They both agreed that the conference made them look at their own grief, and where they were personally in the grieving process. Erin stated she wants to continue their education in bereavement to offer the best services possible to the community. For more information on the many bereavement services State of the Heart Care offers, please contact Bereavement Specialist Sarah DePoy at 800-417-7535.

Monday, January 6, 2020

State of the Heart Care Employees Chosen to Join NHCPO Committee

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State of the Heart Care is proud to announce two of their employees have recently been chosen as NHCPO committee members. Barb Bell, Director of Business Development, was chosen to be a member of MyNHCPO’s Development/PR/Marketing Steering Committee. This committee is heavily involved in the marketing world of NHPCO with tasks like developing community chat sessions, responding to comments and questions on NHPCO’s discussion group page, creating and updating resource material, attending meetings at national conferences while assisting with MyNHPCO activities, and promoting MyNHPCO. Barb shared that she wanted to apply because she felt it would broaden her knowledge of Hospice and would be a good opportunity for State of the Heart Care as they move into the future of healthcare changes. She also thought it would be a great networking opportunity because you can gain new ideas and best practices from other professionals on the committee. The committee meets monthly, and Barb will be a member for the next three years.

Kelley Hall, Nurse Practitioner, was recently chosen to be a member of NHPCO’s Palliative Care Advisory Council. Members of this council will provide NHPCO (National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization) with their own experiences and knowledge on palliative care while giving valuable insight on current issues in the healthcare world. According to NHPCO, the council will support provider members as they expand and continue their efforts in providing palliative care, assist with the development of resources and tools related to palliative care delivery, and offer recommendations for palliative care education. When asked why she felt it was important to apply for this council, Kelley said she wanted to be a voice for the smaller rural palliative care providers. The council meets monthly, with their first meeting at the end of January. Kelley will be a member of the council for the next two years. For more information on the palliative care services State of the Heart Care offers, please feel free to contact a team member at 800-417-7535.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Josh Gambrel Cancer Benefit Auction & Dinner

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Greenville BPW Club Features 2020 Vision

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Greenville, OH. The Greenville Business and Professional Women’s Club invites you to start your New Year off right. The theme for their January meeting is “2020 Vision”. Several simple activities will be featured which will leave members and guests ready to begin 2020 with a new plan for success and go boldly into the New Year. The dinner meeting, on Thursday, January 9th will be held in the Brick Room at the Brethren Retirement Community starting at 6:30 pm. The meeting will be hosted by the Young Careerist committee with Brenda Miller, Chair and committee members Tiana Brown, Tina White, Loure Bohn, and Melissa Barhorst.

The Greenville BPW Club’s mission is to achieve equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education, and information. For reservations please contact Vicki Cost at vcost@coxinsurance.com by noon on Monday, January 6th. The cost for dinner is $12.00. Also see the club’s Facebook page at Greenville BPW Club for more information.

Versailles Time Capsule

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Edwin F. Nickol Monuments, Gary Condon.  Village of Versailles: Mayor Subler, Rodd Hale, Kathy Ording, Heather Luebke, Ron Miller, Bryant Apple, and Ron Kremer.  Bicentennial Committee: Todd Dammeyer, Aaron Moran, HB Hole, Deb Pohl, and Eric Stachler. (Not Pictured Kim Custenborder and Alex Luthman).
As part of the Versailles Bicentennial, the Bicentennial Committee with the assistance of Edwin F. Nickol Monuments, The Versailles Area Historical Society and the Village of Versailles placed a time capsule at Ward Park. The capsule was placed on December 20th, 2019 with the intention that it would be safeguarded by the village and opened in August 2069 which will be the 250th anniversary of the village.

The time capsule includes submissions from: Versailles High School, Versailles Area Historical Society, Versailles Policy, Versailles Poultry Days, Bicentennial Committee Chairman Aaron Moran, area churches and Versailles Mayor Jeff Subler. Photos of Mildred Dill and Theodore Jay, Versailles oldest and youngest residents will be included as well as photos from various Bicentennial events throughout 2019. The capsule will be identified with a granite marker donated by Gary Condon and Edwin F. Nickol Monuments.

For questions please email VB1819@gmail.com or contact any committee member: Kim Custenborder, Alex Luthman, Todd Dammeyer, Aaron Moran, HB Hole, Deb Pohl, or Eric Stachler.

Introduction to Instant Pot Meals in Minutes

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Did Santa bring you an Instant Pot for Christmas? Are you interested in learning more about how to use the instant pot? Are you curious on how they work and if they are worth purchasing? This class is for you.

Come and join an interactive class, where we learn the basic functions on an instant pot and prepare and sample a dish made with an instant pot.

The class will be held on Thursday, January 16th from 2:00-4:00 PM. The class will be held at OSU Extension, Darke County, 603 Wagner Avenue, Greenville OH. There is no cost for this program but pre-registration is required. Class size is limited to 20 people.

For further information contact
Dr. Roseanne Scammahorn,
Scammahorn.5@osu.edu or 937-548-5215.

Empowering sets aggressive goal for 2020

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GREENVILLE - As Empowering Darke County Youth enters its fifth year of academic support for Darke County young people, it also enters its fifth year of new challenges. In order to meet these challenges, it has adopted an aggressive fundraising campaign.

“Our goal is to have a qualified tutor for every two students enrolled in our program,” said Bob Robinson, Empowering Executive Director. “Our volunteers, most of whom are Edison State or area high school students, will be able to work with one student, supported by a tutor who would be working with the other. The end result will be individualized help, or as close as possible, for each student enrolled in the program.”

Due to continually increasing requests, the Empowering After School Tutoring schedule was modified in September to focus on specific grades for each day. This allows for a group work plan, but also makes individualized help possible for some of those who need it.

“We didn’t have the resources to meet all the individual needs, and most of our growth this fall has been from students who need individual help,” Robinson said. “We have great teachers and staff in Darke County; they care about our kids and they help as much as possible as we work with the students who still need extra help.

“I look at some of these Middle School students – we have more than three times as many as we had last year – and I see myself at that age,” Robinson added. “It took me a decade to figure out I could be successful. In today’s world, these kids don’t have the luxury of another 10 years. They need help now.”

In addition to adding tutors, the Empowering fundraising goal includes providing transportation for students who qualify, and resources for students needing help but aren’t able to participate in the support services offered in their districts. Empowering currently serves students in four Darke County school districts.

“This is the time of year when many individuals, businesses and other organizations are considering their giving options, not only for tax purposes but also to support their communities,” Robinson said. “Please consider putting Empowering Darke County Youth on your giving list. We are a 501c3 United Way Partner and we need you. The kids we help – that you are considering helping – are the future of our communities. Help us help them achieve the academic success they need and deserve.”

Gifts may be sent to P.O. Box 1113, Greenville, Ohio 45331. For more information, message Empowering Darke County Youth on Facebook, email: empoweringyouth101@gmail.com or go to our website, empowerdarkecounty.com.

The Empowering Mission: Empowering Darke County Youth provides After School and Summer Tutoring programs to assist students in the areas of language arts and math with the goal of Strong Students for a Strong Community.

RG Communications Announces return of tower service for Celina/Mercer County

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(Celina, OH) In the aftermath of the Memorial Day tornados the skyline of Celina was changed, and many local businesses suffered the loss of two-way radio service. The path of the tornado directly crossed the communications tower owned by R.G. Sound & Communications. The 500-foot tower which stood behind Chief Supermarket in the old city trash dump, was originally erected in 1973 to bring in television service for Celina residents. Ralph Godwin purchased the tower in the early 1980s and converted it to offer wide-area two-way radio coverage for businesses, farmers, and emergency use.

Today, RG Communications services the tower and radio equipment for R.G. Sound. “All of us are really excited to see the tower completed and get the radio equipment back on the air,” said Aaron Godwin president of RG Communications and Ralph’s grandson. “I remember going to the ‘shack’ to work on radio equipment with Ralph when I was a kid.” The Memorial Day tornado removed the top 200-feet of the tower. The remaining 300-feet then had to be dropped because climbers were unable to safely climb the structure to assess damages. The tower destruction affected a wide range of people from farmers to truckers in Mercer, Auglaize, Darke, Van Wert, Jay and other counties. Godwin continued, “Customers from the federal government to senior citizen transports have been affected by this and the outage has been difficult for everyone”. Upgrades were made to RG radio systems in Bryant Indiana and Lima Ohio to help cover the customers, these upgrades will work together with the new Celina tower to further increase customer coverage and capacity.

The two-way radio systems serviced by RG Comm have been put back on the air December 23rd, 210 days since the tornados. Entities that lease space on the tower will be back on the air over the next few weeks. Godwin says a few customers have chosen not to return to the tower with their own radio system and on their LTR and DMR scriber systems. “We are looking at this as an opportunity to service new customers and add new technology to expand wireless service to the community”.

Updates and photographs of the tower erection process as well as the destruction of the old tower will be available via the RG Communications Facebook page.

Edison State Greenville students continue community service traditions

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GREENVILLE – Ten Edison State Community College teams, Greenville Campus and online, continued the tradition of talking to elementary and middle school students about Bullying. Edison State students also worked hundreds of hours with elementary and middle school students struggling with their academics.

The students are enrolled in Edison State’s Fundamentals of Communication course, Greenville Campus. They learn strong communication skills, including public speaking, ethics, critical thinking, human diversity, teamwork and more, and put those skills into practice while providing a positive service to their communities.

“Students learn that good communication is more than just talking, or making comments on social media,” Bob Robinson, Fundamentals of Communications instructor, said. “It’s being able to communicate your ideas effectively, being ethical and trustworthy, understanding that individuals are different in how they relate to or perceive your comments and actions. In today’s world, being able to function as part of a team is crucial. While all of these points are covered in the classroom, it’s often an eye-opener when students put what they’ve learned into practice outside the classroom.”

This fall, eight teams made presentations to students in Bradford, Ansonia, Tri-Village and Greenville Middle schools. Two teams made presentations at Kiwanis of Greenville and the Greenville Public library; they were designed to make adults aware of the issues today’s kids – and often adults – face.

The Week 16 team presentations were the final assignments for the course, Robinson noted. “The off-campus presentations were graded by the teachers and adult participants… on a scale of one to ten, not a single team was graded under 9.0, and over half received the full ten points.” Each team worked an average 20-25 hours preparing for the presentations.

“Semester after semester, Edison State students and faculty are connecting to our community in new and exciting ways,” said Chad Beanblossom, Vice President of Regional Campuses. “We are thrilled to have our students invited into our local schools, service organizations and the public libraries to share information on the important topic of bullying. Edison State students are developing communication skills while delivering an important message to our community youth.”

For their individual term projects, students had a choice between taking exams and doing a research paper, or working 25 hours with elementary and middle school students who need academic help. “Again, it’s one thing to take an academic approach to communication skills, another to practice them,” Robinson said. “If their schedules allowed, Edison State students chose the tutoring option.” Forty students worked over 750 hours with students in Greenville, Anna, and Mississinawa Valley.

Robinson added this is a win-win for Edison State Community College and the communities it serves. “College students get needed communication skills, and elementary and middle school students get valuable life skills and help achieving their educational goals.”

Ambulance service owners surprise party goers

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Company owners present employees with 10 new vehicles; four new ventilators; seven new computers; three new power cots, a new copier, and more

Spirit Medical Transport, LLC, employees and guests watched in awe as company owners unveiled multiple gifts, including 10 new vehicles and other patient care equipment to better serve the growing demand for its medical transportation services.
Greenville, OH-It’s been said the Christmas season is a time of giving and the owners of Spirit Medical Transport, LLC, took that belief to extreme this past weekend.

During the annual employee Christmas party held this past Sunday, Spirit Medical Transport, LLC, President/CEO Brian K. Hathaway opened the Spirit 2019 Christmas party with a presentation that left many employees and guests in awe.

As employees, families, and guests of the company gathered, for the second year in a row, Hathaway asked those in attendance to join Vice President Aaron Guthrie and himself in the fairground’s coliseum. Those entering saw a red “ambulance sleigh” being pulled by a set of reindeer that read “Santa’s Workshop.” To ensure they couldn’t see anything behind the sleigh, large tarps strung across the entire building prevented anyone from getting any viewing advantages.

While taking a seat, those in attendance began to ponder what all the hype was about. Then, Hathaway began to share why employees and their families had been invited to this special place.

Hathaway shared with everyone in attendance that 2019 had been one of the best financial years since the business’s inception in 2007 and “tonight we are going to celebrate that occasion in a big way,” he explained. “Our employees are the foundation of the business. You’ve been busy little elves all year, so now it’s time we give back to all of you in recognition of a job well-done.”

The president started out the presentation by recognizing the dispatch center for being diligent in their efforts of taking calls from facilities and hospitals that allowed the company to deliver high-quality and compassionate care day in and day-out. He then went on to recognize the company’s quality assurance and billing department for their tremendous focus on billing and collections in 2019 that led to an 18-percent increase in collections in 2019 versus 2018.

“It’s the great people in the office setting that have helped turn the key to the success this past year,” Hathaway said. “While there have certainly been hurdles along the way, this team always rises to the occasion and remains focused on meeting or exceeding goals, without ever challenging our purpose, vision, and values.”

During his address to those in attendance, Hathaway invited various employee groups to the front to participate in unwrapping various presents that had been tucked away in Santa’s sleigh. As he would call off the different groups, Santa and Mrs. Claus would put gifts out on the table for all to open.

The first gift that was opened was by the paramedics. They opened two boxes containing four new patient ventilators. These transport ventilators are the very latest on the market and have been something this group of healthcare providers has been asking for since last Christmas.

Hathaway then called the EMTs to the front and had them open several packages. One package included seven new computers to compliment the ambulances. They then opened a package that sent Santa on a quick run to the North Pole. Upon his return, out came his elves with three new Ferno power cots that have the capability of lifting patients weighing up to 700 pounds.

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