Monday, July 19, 2021


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The month of June should have been the month of April. It was rainy enough to make all kinds of  flowers bloom, just like April is supposed to do. Hopefully the rain will continue for our farm crops, but not at a rate that washes things out or slows things down for a week!  The weather is June certainly did not help the airport taxiway project we have underway. Most of the dirt work was completed, except for putting in drainage tile, and that was slowed significantly by all the water and mud. Finally, last week has allowed the Contractor, Great Lakes Construction, to start putting down stone on the taxiway and apron. As of this writing, the taxiway project as a whole is 81% done, and if the weather continues to co-operate, the contractor should get back on schedule. We are looking at completion of the taxiway by near the end of August. We are having a fly in at the airport on September25th this year. More information will be forthcoming.

June is also budget review month in our office. All the elected officials met with us at different times to discuss their budgets for the 2022 year. This process at this time is really just a review as we really don’t have a clear picture of the finances available to us yet. Right now, we are on track with our projections for income and tax receipts, but we are always cautious as things can change quickly. We will know far more by early November.

We finally had our first parade of the year at the Versailles Poultry days. The parade route was almost full of onlookers and that is always fun for us. This July we have four parades to go to so far, and looking forward to seeing all the people at the festivals that are happening again. In other news, we hope everyone has noticed the improvements to the courthouse steps and the steps to our office. The steps to our office will be used constantly, but the courthouse steps are to be used for emergency exit only. It was our thought that even though the courthouse steps will not be used daily, it was important for us to help make the downtown area as attractive and welcoming as possible. We are now in the process of getting the railings designed and done for both buildings, and that will complete the construction. The Lady Bug garden club has graciously committed to landscaping around the steps at the courthouse and the Commissioner’s office. A big Thank You to those wonderful ladies!

Congratulations are in order for the county’s new Recorder, Hillary Holzapfel. Hillary was appointed to fill the spot of long time Recorder Linda Stachler who retired. Linda did a great job for the county, but she was ready to retire and remover herself from government life. We are sure Hillary will do an excellent job for a long time. June also saw our annual courthouse cookout on June 25th. This has become an annual event where the elected officials furnish the hot dogs and hamburgers and everyone else brings a covered dish. This is one of the most enjoyable events of the year. Commissioner Aultman did most of the cooking with expert advice from Commissioners Stegall and Holmes! A good time is always had at this event, and we always look forward to it. 

July is now here so we are in the middle of another Miami Valley summer. That means heat and humidity is going to be the norm for a while. So, if you need to cool off a little and you are in town, why don’t you stop in to one of our scheduled public meetings? We meet every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 in the Commissioner’s office at 520 S. Broadway in downtown Greenville. Hope to see you there.

- The Darke County Commissioners

DCP to offer Kayak and Canoe Rentals

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After several months of planning, the Darke County Parks is ready to offer kayak and canoe rentals to the public. Rentals will be offered at the Bish Discovery Center on Ohio street starting July 14th. Renters can launch from Alice Bish Park and float to Historic Bear’s Mill. This float is approximately 6 miles and takes an average of 4 hours. Rentals are available through preregistration only (one day in advance). This will be a soft launch of public rentals, so that staff can work out any minor issues before opening rentals to several days a week. DCP will not be offering transportation from the take out at Bear’s Mill back to the Bish Discovery Center, so renters will need to plan their own return transport. DCP is excited to offer this new outdoor rec option to the public in addition to bike rentals that are already available. 

For more information regarding rentals, please contact the Nature Center at 937-548-0165. To reserve a rental, visit


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Historic Bear’s Mill’s Clark Gallery will feature the earthenware pottery and wood panels of Richmond, Indiana-based artist Thomas Hill at the upcoming “Art At the Mill” exhibit opening Friday, July 30 with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. The artist will share information about his work, methods, and inspiration in a brief talk beginning at 7 p.m. The exhibit will continue through Sunday, August 22; “Art at the Mill,” curated by Jan Roestamadji and Julie Clark, is free and open to the public.

Ms. Clark says the she is really excited about “Art At the Mill” hosting a rare solo artist in the Clark Gallery. “Thomas Hill’s creative wood work will fill the Gallery walls with beauty, while the display of his ceramic pieces on numerous pedestals will delight and fascinate art lovers and curious on-lookers alike,” Ms. Clark enthused. According to Ms. Roestamadji, this is a unique exhibition featuring an emerging artist whose creativity and mastery of his craft keep increasing. “We are so lucky to host this display of earthy, rustic, minimalist pottery, along with wood panels exploring shapes and lines in various media, all created by the same talented individual; I am sure that many visitors will be taking a piece home with them to enhance their own living spaces,” she said.

Thomas Hill grew up in rural Indiana amid countless cornfields and landscapes rich in natural resources; instilled with an inquisitive spirit, the youngster often tinkered with various objects, trying to find out not only how they worked, but also why they worked. While a high school senior, Thomas began working with wood, spending vast hours assembling simple pieces of furniture whenever he had an idea. That intrinsic curiosity led the young man to more intense tinkering, exploring whatever project took his fancy, and eventually switching his college major from Physics to Art. As an Art student, Thomas discovered a passion for clay, an interest that he now combines with building renovation and exploration of unconventional material as he practices his art.

Thomas’s work in wood and clay combines an interest in historic sculpture from Europe, Korea, and Japan with an attraction to local materials he found while wandering through the natural environment of his childhood home. The ever-inquisitive artist traveled to England to apprentice with potter Nic Collins before achieving his Art degree from Earlham College, and has worked as an assistant to Marshall, North Carolina potter Josh Copus. Thomas says that his body of work has evolved through experimentation with materials new to him, finding inspiration in the character and texture developed by objects exposed to time and the elements. “I have begun a journey by adding these weathered forms and aged surfaces around me to my own material library, discovering how I might incorporate these characteristics into my handmade objects,” he explained.

Intriguing paintings by Paula J. Dalton which explore land and sky through geometry as well as the fascinating work of Collette Fortin and Berry Davis who create solid glass sculptures with primarily oceanic themes will continue to be on display in the Clark Gallery through Sunday, July 25. The Clark Gallery and the Mill Shop are operated by Friends of Bear’s Mill; the Mill and surrounding grounds are the newest addition to Darke County Parks. Bear’s Mill is located at 6450 Arcanum-Bear's Mill Road, about 5 miles east of Greenville. “Art At the Mill” is funded in part by a grant from Darke County Endowment for the Arts, and can be viewed during regular Mill store hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The park and trails are open daily from 8 a.m. until sunset. For more information, contact Bear's Mill at 937-548-5112 or


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Coldwater, OH (July 6, 2021) - Hometown Cable headquartered in Coldwater, Ohio has signed an agreement with Indiana based GRiT Technologies to manage and reconstruct Hometown Cable's wireless and fiber Internet networks, and restructure various components associated with Hometown's day-to-day business operations.

GRiT Technologies was contracted in October of 2020 to evaluate all aspects of Hometown Cable's model. GRiT provided Hometown's ownership with strategic analysis, operating plan and budget, technical plan and budget, and marketing plan and budget. Hometown Cable's ownership agreed with GRiT's evaluation and vision which included completely rebuilding Hometown Cable.

GRiT Chief Technical Officer, Tom Kolb, has designed a superior wireless network that will provide subscribers a minimum of 25 Megabits of download speed per second (Mbps) and in many cases up to 100 Mbps. New state-of-the-art equipment is on order and will be attached to towers that feed Hometown's wireless network along with new equipment to be stationed at customers' houses. Kolb has also re-engineered HomeTown's fiber optic network. Once installed, the new state-of-the-art fiber optic technology will perform well into the future without disruption to service. The new technology will allow HomeTown to offer more services to customers and as the demand for bandwidth increases, Home Town will be able to be out in front of the demand. 

"Current subscribers will see a significant increase in their ability to function over the web," stated GRiT CEO, Roger Criblez. ''The millions of dollars being invested by Hometown's ownership will reshape the entire network so customers will have an Internet, television, and voice (telephone) experience they can successfully utilize without frustration."

The GRiT team has integrated the Hometown team with outsourced vendors for various components of the daily operations to reinvigorate quality and efficiency.

"We are just getting started," said Criblez, "and we have a way to go to get our entire customer base switched over, but change is in the air, and change in all aspects of doing business is coming to Hometown. 

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