Images Licking County, OH: 2009
This once-sleepy agricultural community of farmers and tradespeople has grown to more than 160,000 people. Adjacent to the rapidly sprawling Columbus, Licking County's primary cities of Newark, Granville and Heath are home to more than 100 manufacturing, research and development businesses, including The Boeing Co., while still featuring plenty of arts and entertainment, from theater performances to a children's museum. Three college campuses, including the prestigious Denison University, draw thousands of college students to the county.
CU S TO M M AG A Z INE M ED I A Enjoy a quick video of artist Aaron Buchholz creating glass at The Works in the Interactive section of imageslickingcounty.com. n n n Licking County Take a virtual tour of Licking County, courtesy of our awardwinning photographers, at imageslickingcounty.com. Hartford 62 3 71 37 n Utica St. Louisville 13 Johnstown L I C K I NG Alexandria 16 Granville Hanover 16 n Newark Heath Columbus m Pataskala Kirkersville 70 Hebron Buckeye Lake 40 Gratiot See Goumas' candymaking process in a quick video in the Interactive section at imageslicking county.com. ife in Licking County sure is sweet, thanks to confectioners Goumas Candyland, Velvet Ice Cream and Whit's Frozen Custard. The three family-owned companies have established themselves locally with high-quality, handcrafted treats. There's sweet satisfaction, too, in the fact that all three have seen their markets grow beyond the borders of Licking County. Goumas Candyland, with stores in Heath and Newark, has roots that date back to 1911, when Greek immigrant George Stamas opened the Busy Bee and began making fine chocolates. When Gus Goumas came along and asked Stamas for permission to marry his daughter Bessie, it was granted on the condition that Goumas learn the art of candymaking. He did. When Gus and Bessie Goumas inherited her father's candy shop in 1952, they renamed it Goumas Candyland and kept right on making and selling candy. Bessie � now 88 years old � still comes in to work several times a week. "She's still the boss," says Marilyn Goumas of her mother-in-law. Marilyn helps run the family's store in Heath, where the chocolates are made. "All our candy is handmade and hand-dipped," she says. "Our specialties are English toffee and caramel turtles, but we also make nut clusters, truffles and our own vanilla caramels. We sell about 500 pounds IF YOU GO ... Here's where to taste the sweet success for yourself. Goumas Candyland � Heath 9 Claren Drive Heath, OH 43056 (740) 522-6294 Goumas Candyland � Newark 18 North Park Place Newark, OH 43055 (740) 345-7440 Velvet Ice Cream Co. 11324 Mt. Vernon Road Utica, OH 43080 (800) 589-5000 Whit's Frozen Custard 138 E. Broadway Granville, OH 43023 (740) 587-3620 of candy every week." The company ships its original-recipe chocolates all over the world, and many folks cross state lines to treat their taste buds at Goumas Candyland. "I've been coming here from Michigan for almost 60 years," says loyal customer Peter Coutsos. "Goumas candy is one of the things that keeps me coming back. It's the best." Velvet Ice Cream, available in grocery stores in 26 states, also makes its home � appropriately enough � in Licking County. With annual gross sales of about $20 million, the fourth-generation ice cream dynasty is Ohio's largest independent ice cream maker. It's also a popular tourist destination. From May through October, about 160,000 visitors tour Velvet Ice Cream's manufacturing operations, located in the historic Ye Olde Mill in Utica. "The mill was built in 1817," says Andre Dager, guest relations coordinator. "It's been a landmark since before our family bought it in 1960." There's an old-fashioned ice cream parlor on-site, as well as a visitors' center and museum with fun, interactive exhibits that document the history of Ye Olde Mill and Velvet Ice Cream. On the tour, guests witness the eight steps of ice cream production. "We like to tell our story," Dager says. "The tour also gives us a way to connect with the consumer and make the production process real for them." Velvet's signature flavors include Butter Pecan and Cashew, Buckeye Classic, Vanilla Lovers Trio and, just introduced, Chocolate Lovers Trio. A relative newcomer to the Licking County dessert scene, Whit's Frozen Custard is, nevertheless, enjoying sweet success. Founders Chuck and Lisa Whitman opened their flagship store in Granville in March 2003. Now there are four Whit's franchises in other Ohio cities, with more to come. Crafting the best frozen custard was a passion of Chuck Whitman's, and he spent years perfecting his recipe. The line of customers outside the shop every day proves he got it right. The difference between custard and ice cream is density, Lisa Whitman says. Custard is made with a lot of cream in a process that prevents air from getting into the mix. The result is a thick, smooth dessert that fans say tastes richer than ice cream. Whit's Frozen Custard is made fresh daily in the store and comes in vanilla, chocolate and the flavor of the day. t sounds like something out of a futuristic science fiction novel: Assembly line workers learn to build their products � before the products even exist. This once far-off technology is now a reality at The Boeing Co.'s Virtual Customer Integration Laboratory in Heath. Three-dimensional technology allows workers to receive detailed assembly training for products that are still in the design phase. "These people are trained and know how to do what they need to do before the equipment even gets here," says Rick Platt, president and CEO of the HeathNewark-Licking County Port Authority. "They can ramp up that productivity level a lot quicker than most places would be able to do." Workers can also experiment with and tweak upgrades and next-generation products before they are manufactured, as well as identify opportunities for improving production processes. Boeing's virtual lab on the campus of the Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center opened in September 2008 after two years of work by a partnership between state and local governments and Boeing officials, and $1.2 million in construction, equipment and infrastructure improvements. "This project may not have occurred without the additional funding and support from the Ohio Department of Development and the Heath-NewarkLicking County Port Authority," says Michael Emmelhainz, director of the VCIL. "The public support for our business has been outstanding and demonstrates the community's commitment to our business's continued success and job growth." The project will create 30 to 60 new jobs in Heath over the next year, but beyond that, the VCIL serves as an anchor of the local economy. Local officials hope that Boeing's decision to locate the center in their community will encourage other innovative companies to consider the area. Over the last several years, Boeing has relocated employees from operations in other parts of the country to Heath, as well as cultivated local talent to fill highskill positions. "We have an attractive community that people want to relocate to, and it's a community that keeps talented people here because it's a nice place to live, but also because it has the opportunities for people to utilize their talents," Platt says. "To me, that's a one-two punch � a combination that not every place in the country, or even the world, can say." The VCIL project is the latest in a stream of Boeing expansions at its campus on the former Newark Air Force Base. The technology center is a reliable pillar of the local economy, and Boeing's decision to bring the VCIL to town is an affirmation of the strong relationship between the company and the public. "This project created a significant enabler for our business to capture more work and secure more business for future job stability," Emmelhainz says. "And we feel it will both attract new business growth and help provide job stability in the community." Boeing is already Heath's largest employer, sustaining more than 600 jobs. The 3-D technology at the VCIL will put the facility front and center for the company as information gathered at the center is distributed and utilized at Boeing outfits across the country. "Additionally, the technology and applications of the virtual lab supports working with our suppliers to help them with process improvements for new business growth," Emmelhainz says. Licking County, Boeing, supply chain � everybody wins. Especially the people who get to wear the cool 3-D glasses. rom large venues to intimate spaces, traveling shows to locally mounted productions, Licking County's theatergoers are spoiled for choice. And if the area's theater organizations have anything to say about it, that's not changing anytime soon. One of the larger players is the Midland Theatre, which turned 80 in December 2008. One of the opulent movie houses of the 1920s, the theater's fortunes rose and fell over the decades until finally, after years of neglect, it was purchased in the early 1990s by Dave Longaberger and the Longaberger Co. and a decade of renovations began. Nowadays, the restored facility offers a broad range of musical, comedy and drama events, both traveling and homegrown. "Our program contains a real diverse mixture of art and entertainment," says Michael Morris, executive director of the Newark Midland Theatre Association Inc. "We have everything from country music to blues to dance, both modern and classical, and we have international artists coming in who are then followed by field trips in from area students. We try to maintain that, because our tagline is `The Midland. Your theatre,' and if it's going to be that, then we have to have that diversity." The housing history isn't as lavish for the Weathervane Playhouse, which began its life in a barn in 1969. But since starting in that barn, the summer theater troupe has grown by leaps and bounds, developing a loyal following along the way. "We do a really good show for a reasonable amount of money, and we've been doing it for 41 seasons now, so we're doing something right," says Pam Wheeler, president of the Weathervane's board of directors. After several years in various locations and types of venue, the playhouse moved to its permanent location in 1976, only to lose that building in a fire in 1987. Community support helped with reconstruction, and the new Mary A. Alford Memorial LIVE! FROM LICKING COUNTY Performing arts are thriving in the area. Visit these Web sites to find out what's playing: Licking County Players www.lickingcounty players.org Midland Theatre www.midland theatre.org Weathervane Playhouse www.weathervane playhouse.org Theater was dedicated in 1989. The Larry W. and Dawn Holt Anderson Children's Theater was added 10 years later. "We do five shows over 10 weeks from June 4 to Aug. 4," Wheeler says. "It's summer-stock theater, so once you get started, you're rehearsing a show during the day and doing a different one at night, so it's a little crazy. But we've got people on our board who've been around the whole 41 years, and a good base of season ticket holders who come back every year, so we just keep on going." The 40-year mark has also been passed by the Licking County Players, who have grown from being the Welsh Hills Players and performing at the Plymouth United Church of Christ to eventually purchasing the former funeral home and Salvation Army building that's now its 100-seat home venue. "We do eight shows every year and have theater going all year long," says Aara Chapman, president of the Licking County Players. "We've certainly come a long way from our original roots." A 100 percent volunteer staff matches strong community support, and Chapman says that even without paid personnel, the players have been able to grow with each passing decade. "I've been around since 1979, and we've had our ups and downs, but I've watched us grow and evolve to get into this space," she says. "Community support remains at the core of all these and other local theatrical outfits, so each works to ensure that the audience gets pushed, stretched and thoroughly entertained. "The fact that we're here and able to offer the events we do speaks to the community's support of the arts," Morris says. Learn more about local arts and culture at imageslickingcounty.com. he "plane" truth is that Licking County now has a chapter of the Civil Air Patrol. The Licking County Composite Squadron consists of 27 volunteer cadets ages 12-20 who are led by nine adult officers. Nationwide, there are 55,000 Civil Air Patrol members, and the nonprofit organization operates as the all-volunteer civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. "More than 10 percent of each year's new classes that are entering the U.S. Air Force Academy are made up of Civil Air Patrol members," says 1st Lt. John Morgan with the Licking County Composite Squadron. "I was a cadet once and had a very positive experience with my squadron duties, so I decided that I wanted to start a local group for Licking County. Now, one exists." A couple of years ago, Morgan contacted the Civil Air Patrol Ohio Wing, which eventually approved the establishment of a squadron in Newark. Cadets and officers in the CAP are all civilians with regular jobs, and in Morgan's case, he is a banker. "The Licking County Composite Squadron focuses on teaching young cadets leadership, physical fitness, character development and aerospace education," he says. "Anyone can join us, and you don't need to be interested in ultimately going into the Air Force or other military branches in order to become a member." The Newark-based squadron meets every Thursday night from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Career and Tech Education Centers of Licking County, better known as C-TEC. "We all have rankings like in the Air Force, but we are not an actual part of the Air Force � we simply support their missions," Morgan says. "This is a really good organization for young people interested in aerospace and the military. And it's a good organization for adults who want to help these young people develop as quality human beings." on't want to get involved? That's certainly not how David A. Brenner lives his life. The Licking County resident is so busy that he couldn't even stay retired for one day. He retired from State Farm Insurance on Jan. 1, 2009, and then went to work on Jan. 2 for White Oak Partners in Granville. "I guess it's flattering to be wanted," says Brenner, senior vice president of administration. "White Oak buys businesses that are for sale and then injects them with capital if they show a potential for growth." Brenner advises the company on staffing needs, marketing and more. "We purchase a wide array of American businesses � from manufacturing to banking to oil and gas," he explains. But Brenner has more responsibilities than his 8-to-5 job. He is a board member with the Greater Licking County Convention & Visitors Bureau and has headed the Newark Downtown Revitalization Effort Committee. "When I was at State Farm, I wanted to create a new department there that included public affairs, marketing, communications and event planning," Brenner says. "My boss wanted me to be the face of State Farm in the greater Newark and Licking County areas, so I truly became involved. Working with the Greater Licking County CVB was especially interesting because I became acquainted with many business leaders throughout the region." Brenner has led a task force that will ultimately result in a four-lane, limitedaccess highway between Columbus and Pittsburgh, which will further open up Central Ohio from an economic standpoint. He is also on the board of trustees at The Works, a cultural museum and learning center in downtown Newark and has brainstormed with other county leaders on the Community Capitalism project. "It's a story of Kalamazoo, Mich., and how in the face of departing and declining industry, they rebuilt their community from an education, business and cultural standpoint," Brenner explains. "We would love to mimic that success story throughout Licking County." red Paul has always been good with his hands � and his mind. Paul worked for 36 years at ArvinMeritor Specialty Axle Division in Newark, making drive axles and steering axles for the bus and coach industry. He retired in 2002 but wanted to give back to his community by teaching others about the complex art of manufacturing. "Today, I am the business and industry partnership coordinator at C-TEC, where I customize training programs for businesses and industries throughout Licking County and beyond," he says. "If companies want their employees to advance and learn the latest manufacturing techniques, those companies come to me. And C-TEC is an ideal place to learn." Paul always sings the praises of C-TEC, an acronym for the Career and Tech Education Centers of Licking County. In fact, he was in the first graduating class at C-TEC when it was known as Heath Area Vocational School. ALL I WANT IS ... A HOT BREAKFAST AND HIGH-SPEED INTERNET ACCESS. "About five years ago, C-TEC asked me to do some things to help strengthen the partnership between the school and business and industry, and I was happy to oblige," Paul says. C-TEC has since become good friends with the business community, he adds. "The school customizes dozens of programs to meet the needs of any local company that wants to evolve," Paul says. "More and more, C-TEC is helping to strengthen economic development and the competitive advantage of doing business in Licking County." Besides his work at C-TEC, Paul also serves on a number of community boards, including the Heath-NewarkLicking County Port Authority and the Licking County Chamber of Commerce. "Being with C-TEC is a perfect fit for me," he says. "I've brought some specific know-how to C-TEC that has made them better in dealing with the business community, and I also learn new things every day." f ands o Thous Do" at ings to inn.com "Th n ampto www.h ack Kick b in our ool P shing Refre ton Ham p 100% ction atisfa e S nte Guara tary limen Comp ouseTM the H fast On ak Hot Bre And that is just for starters. We've made a host of exciting new changes at Hampton to make your stay unforgettable. We promise you'll be 100% satisfied. Guaranteed. WE LOVE HAVING YOU HERE.� raner Behavioral Health has been providing a helping hand in Licking County since 1969, and now they are helping even more people. The drug and alcohol treatment organization that assists people of all ages began as one building called Spencer Halfway House. Up to 16 men who had serious drug and alcohol problems could live there and receive treatment for up to six months. Women eventually were treated there as well. "There were obvious problems with men and women living in the same building, and something had to be done to remedy the situation," says Patrick Evans, CEO of Kraner Behavioral Health. "Our goal ultimately became to add more buildings to separate the sexes and develop additional programs specifically for women � including women who had young children." The Kraner organization began a capital campaign in the early 2000s and raised more than $1 million to purchase a house across the street from Spencer House. Evans says the capital campaign was well supported by the Licking County community. "The home is called Courage House, and it is specifically for up to 16 women who can have their children living with them while treatment is provided for up to six months," Evans says. "As a result, Spencer House is now designated only for men who are working to beat their addictions, while Courage House helps women." Meanwhile, Kraner Behavioral Health has since added two more houses in its neighborhood complex. Synergy Outpatient Services provides drug and alcohol treatment but only on a sameday outpatient basis, while WorkLife Solutions works with businesses that have an employee who has a drug or alcohol dependency. "The assistance services we provide at Kraner are certainly beneficial to the entire Licking County community," Evans says. �Stories by Kevin Litwin n Licking County, making a difference in the community doesn't have much to do with the money in your bank account or the title in front of your name. All you need is a willing attitude and a strong work ethic. The Midwestern community is in the throes of an unprecedented effort to revitalize itself through the cooperative work of government, private business and everyday citizens. Based on an initiative in Kalamazoo, Mich., that turned a city around and resulted in the book Community Capitalism, the project is a bottom-up endeavor to improve Licking County. "We wanted to and have successfully sparked a grassroots approach to economic development that, frankly, I think, goes beyond even what Kalamazoo is doing," says Rick Platt, president and chief executive of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority. The project began when the Port Authority received a suggestion to buy and distribute 12 copies of Ron Kitchens' book Community Capitalism and locked arms with the city of Newark, the Licking County Economic Development Department and the Licking County Chamber of Commerce. The coalition upped the ante and distributed not 12 but nearly 1,500 copies of the book to officials and business owners throughout the county. "They actually had to reprint the book," says Cheri Hottinger, president of the Licking County Chamber of Commerce. After community members read the book, the coalition hosted three town hall meetings for anyone who was interested. As it turned out, that was a lot of people. The combined attendance of the meetings reached nearly 300. "We just talked about the assets and opportunities that are here. It was not to talk about problems," Hottinger says. "It was pretty easy to see what the key areas are because they were repeated over and over again, so we took those and called them `areas of interest.'" The 23 areas of interest fit into four categories: education, talent, place, and infrastructure and development. The coalition then invited folks who were interested in specific aspects of improvement to attend one or all four meetings based around the categories. The specialized groups formed subcommittees on the 23 original areas of interest, and the community was off and running. "People were buzzing with excitement after the three town hall meetings we had initially," Hottinger says. "There hasn't been a community project like this since I don't know when. I don't even know if there has been one." With Central Ohio Technical College, Denison University and The Ohio State University at Newark, all located here, education was one of the first broad issues to bubble to the surface during the town hall meetings. The talent category calls for keeping educated young people in the community and persuading brainpower from around the country to settle down in Licking County. Place dovetails with attracting talent, outlining internal and external marketing strategies and improvements to the overall quality of life. Specific areas of interest range from revitalizing downtown Newark to funding scholarships for local students to creating a small business incubator. "We want a thriving community, and it can only be a thriving community if the community wants it to be that way," Hottinger says. "It can't just be one organization running the whole thing. We have to have buy-in and participation from the community." And there is no shortage of participation in Licking County's groundbreaking project. "If you take the concept of TEAM, Together, Everyone Achieves More, we've got a heck of a dynamic effort here through the businesses," says Rob Klinger, manager of Licking County Economic Development. "All the egos are checked at the door. Nobody's trying to make a name for themselves, but they all take responsibility." COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTORS The Community Capitalism project sheds a light on Licking County's assets. Here are some of the attractions that prompted heavy discussion: Bike trails Buckeye Lake Central location Dawes Arboretum Higher education institutions Licking Memorial Hospital Newark Earthworks Museums Skilled workforce Small-town feel Theater Biz: architectural firm Buzz: Founder Philip Claggett ensures customer satisfaction with his 20 years of experience and a commonsensical approach to building and design. Focusing on sustainable architecture, the Newark company's services include preservation, master planning, new construction and renovation. www.northpointohio.com Biz: heavy-duty truck components Buzz: The Illinois-based company bases its auxiliary axle systems location in Hebron, where engineers use design and production approaches to drive success. In fact, the company's Hebron division is the world's top manufacturer of liftable suspension systems for trucks and trailers. www.hendrickson-intl.com Biz: special events caterer Buzz: Located on West Main Street in Hebron, Creative Catering serves events of all sorts, both on- and off-site, from weddings to drag races. Buffet-style menus cater to guest lists of all sizes, and the conference center has rooms of varying types to accommodate meetings, banquets or receptions. www.creativecatering banquetcenter.com Biz: independent bookstore Buzz: This Newark shop got its start in 1988 as an antique store with books but soon transformed into a bookshop with antiques. The bibliophile's mecca boasts a large assortment of used and rare books � particularly history, mystery, biography and children's literature � and services customer requests for hard-to-find reads. www.cindamarbooks.com Biz: construction company Buzz: Founded in 1996, the renowned company's high-profile projects include COTC and OSU-Newark's Warner Center (pictured above). The Heathbased business helps its customers from the planning stages through design and construction, and even offers repair and maintenance following completion. www.rcsnewark.com he old "business after hours" standby is getting a new lease on life thanks to online efforts from the Licking County Chamber of Commerce. With a blog on the chamber's Web site and a presence on business and social networking sites such as LinkedIn, the chamber has joined the online community in a big way, and members are taking notice. "I began the blog as a way to just attempt to keep up with the technology as much as possible," says Cheri Hottinger, president. "I read a lot of blogs, and so when it was suggested to me that the chamber have one, we set about making that happen." As for the other Web sites, Hottinger says that when she and her staff began to study how members communicated with one another, they realized that many of them were doing it through LinkedIn and other networking sites. With that in mind, they set up outposts and connected everything back to the chamber's own Web page. "We have a news page, but we wanted to also have something where our members could comment on what we are saying and doing," Hottinger says. "There are things we do that are newsworthy, and other things that really are just general information and this gives us another place to post that information." The blog also allows the chamber to post photos and embed video they shoot themselves. "There are lots of ways to enhance what we're trying to do online," Hottinger says. There's been a bit of resistance from some of the chamber's 700 members who feel the online social world is the domain of young people, or that it's just for fun and not business. Hottinger says she understands the stereotypes and is working to correct that perception. "Business is about building relationships, and sometimes you have to go about doing that in a nontraditional way," she says. "Our members who have Web sites are linked through the chamber's site, and I know it gets them business. This is just another way of connecting them to each other � and to potential clients." In the end, she says, it's about finding a new, and often more relaxed, way of doing business. "We're encouraging this kind of social networking, because networking in general is the No. 1 benefit of chamber membership," Hottinger says. "Meeting and communicating on the Web is just as important now as meeting face-toface, and rather than taking the place of that personal contact, it's enhancing it." � Joe Morris WWW.LICKINGCOUNTY CHAMBER.COM Official Web site of the Licking County Chamber of Commerce WWW.CHATWITHTHE CHAMBER.BLOGSPOT. COM Chamber blog with news, photos and videos Spectacular One, Two and Three-Bedroom Apartments and Townhomes in Newark's Coveted West Side "We are dedicated to building awareness of effective solutions within our communities to promote responsible drinking, and prevent underage consumption and drunk driving." Office Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 95 S. Westmoor Ave. Newark, OH 43055 (740) 522-3164 Visit us online: www.southgatecorporation.com MORE ONLINE EO ho says students can't have it all? When the John L. and Christine Warner Library and Student Center opened last year on the shared campus of Central Ohio Technical College and The Ohio State University at Newark, it offered something for everyone. The 84,000-square-foot building contains about 25,000 square feet of library space, double the previous library's footprint; a high-end dining area; bookstore; and student areas and common space. With no physical barriers between the various entities � not to mention working fireplaces and other special touches � the entire facility is warm, inviting and open. "It's different in a lot of ways, and not just the integration of various services," says Forrest Shirkey, managing director of campus dining. "We were able to create a nontraditional campus dining environment, a marketplace concept like what you'd find in the produce section of a grocery store. I'm quite proud to say that we have one of the best dining venues in Licking County, bar none." Open to the public, the dining area's hours are daily from 7 a.m. to midnight, because of its configuration to operate in segments rather than be full-service during that entire time. From the coffee shop in the morning all the way through dinner and into the evening, Shirkey says that students and the general public have really embraced the concept. "It's incredibly innovative," he says. Over in the library, the focus is on study time, both individual and collaborative, says Susan D. Scott, library director. "It's very clear that the space itself was designed to be student-centered," Scott says. "The library speaks to different learning styles, and I think that's important. It can be a social place or a private place, which the students really like." The rave reviews validate the planners' efforts to get everyone around the drawing table even before there were drawings, says Dr. John M. Berry, vice president for enrollment management and student life for COTC and director of student life for OSU-Newark. "All the major constituency bases on campus were asked what they wanted to see in here, and that's how the openflow came about," Berry says. "It really helped shape the vision for the building, and what we're hearing from every one of these groups is that it met, if not exceeded, their expectations." While it's easy to get lost in the accolades surrounding a successful project, for Berry it's about the students. "A young lady who was an incoming freshmen said to me that she couldn't imagine what it would be like to be a student here and not have the facility," Berry says. "The major vision was to have a space the students could call their own, do just about anything they wanted to do there, and that has played itself out very nicely." � Joe Morris Go inside the Warner Center's library and food court in a quick video at imageslickingcounty.com. he Newark High School Wildcats boys basketball players are at the top of their game � literally. In March 2008, the team won the Division I State Championship, bringing the title back to Newark for the first time since 1943. "I was very excited, being a guy who grew up here and the coach," says Newark High School boys basketball coach Jeff Quackenbush. "It was great for the whole community. A lot of people came and showed their support. It seemed like the whole town of Newark was there. And there were lots of celebrations afterward." The team was welcomed home from the state championship in a big way. "Our buses were escorted back into town with police cars and fire trucks, and they even shut down the highway," Quackenbush recalls. "The guys really enjoyed it." The week following the championship, Newark High School held a pep rally in the gym where a film showed the highlights of the big game. The Wildcats ended their 24-4 season with a 65-52 win over Lakewood's St. Edward High School. Following the big game, the community sponsored a dinner for the team with guest speakers. "It was a very nice function," Quackenbush says. "All the kids and coaches wore tuxes." Even though he knew he had a great team, Quackenbush didn't fully expect to win the state championship. "It's definitely tough to win," he says. "Even with a good team, you've got to have a little luck on your side." Luck, and some highly skilled players. "We had returned some kids from the previous season, so we had some experienced guys on the team," he says. Newark's boys basketball team has won the state championship four times in the school's history, capturing the title in 1936, 1938 and 1943. The team has made eight trips to the state tournament, and 2008 was the first trip since 1981. As for the 2009 state championship, Quackenbush says it's still too soon to tell if the Wildcats' lucky streak will continue. "At this point, we're just trying to win every game," he says. The best part about Quackenbush's job? That's easy. "I love working with these kids," he says. "All the coaches on our staff are from Newark, and we all played here. So we really relate to the kids in that way." � Jessica Mozo hange is the order of the day at Licking Memorial Hospital, where new services, a revamped interior and additions to off-site facilities highlight a multilevel improvement plan. Much of the physical work involved the John & Mary Alford Pavilion, which opened in 2007 and contains the emergency department and surgical suites. The hospital's cafeteria was given a facelift at the same time, which then led into a renovation project in 2008 that included adding more private rooms and other physical changes designed to streamline services. At the same time, new technology was brought online, much of it located in the new Women's Imaging Center, which offers mammography, ultrasound, stereotactic biopsy and bone density testing. The radiology department, the coronary care unit and the intensive care unit also received upgrading. All told, it's a top-to-bottom overhaul that will position the health system to care for needs now and in the future, says Rob Montagnese, president and chief executive. "We're always looking to improve our facilities, from making them more amenable to taking care of our patients in a better fashion," he says. "Building on our high standards of care and patient safety is how we decide when and how we allocate our capital dollars." At more than $40 million, the Alford Pavilion has served as a springboard for further hospital enhancements, which in turn will lead to future projects as the need arises and funds are available. It's that kind of rolling system that allows the facility to be nimble with its costs while still adding the newest and best in terms of technology, Montagnese says. "We are always interested in providing new technology, and we think that the molecular lab really highlights that," he says. "This will let us get results back more quickly, which in turn will allow the caregiver to have more information available sooner, which will lead to better quality care." There's plenty of movement offcampus as well, as the Licking Memorial Health System's Pataskala facility expands to meet the needs of western Licking County residents, including plans to open a new urgent care center. "Our commitment is to continue providing the needed services and the latest technology to our community, and we have to balance the available capital with those needs," Montagnese says. "But we feel it's important to make these services available." � Joe Morris advertisers Amanda Hills Pure Spring Water www.amandahills.com Cherry Valley Lodge www.cherryvalleylodge.com Coldwell Banker King Thompson www.kingthompson.com COTC Human Resources www.cotc.edu First Federal Savings www.firstfedohio.com Heath/Newark Hampton Inn www.heathnewark.hamptoninn.com Hospice of Central Ohio www.hospiceofcentralohio.org Kendal at Granville www.kag.kendal.org Licking County Job & Family Services www.lcounty.com Licking Memorial www.lmhealth.org Matesich Distributing Company www.beeresponsible.com McMillen Woods www.southgatecorporation.com MedBen www.medben.com Medical Center of Newark www.mcnohio.com Midland Theatre www.midlandtheatre.org Ohio State University � Newark & Central Ohio Tech College www.newarkcampus.org The Boeing Company www.boeing.com The Chapel Grove Inn www.chapelgroveinn.com The Dawes Arboretum www.dawesarb.org The Energy Cooperative www.theenergycoop.com The Jerry McClain Companies www.jerrymcclainco.com The Works www.attheworks.org United Way of Licking County www.lcuw.net Velvet Ice Cream Company Inc. www.velveticecream.com Welsh Hills School www.welsh-hills.org Wilson, Shannon & Snow Inc. CPAs www.wssinc.net visit our rt and economic development may not seem like two peas in a pod. But you'd be surprised how far a little creativity goes. Art Walk 2008 in Newark brought people not just downtown but through shopkeepers' doors by displaying the work of local artists inside downtown businesses last August. Hundreds found their way to Art Walk, far surpassing organizers' expectations for turnout. "People would stroll downtown, and when they would see something, they would tell people, `Oh my gosh, you've got to get downtown,'" says Vicky Crist, co-chair of the event. "So it was a solid four hours of strolling." The event was such a success that organizers have decided to make it an annual affair. "We heard many times throughout that day, `This is the best event ever to happen in downtown Newark,'" Crist says. "That definitely makes you want to do something like this again." Roughly 45 artists exhibited their work, ranging from paintings to sculptures to jewelry. The breadth of talent in the city took many festivalgoers by surprise. "I think that the public is now aware, after coming to the event, that we really do have some pretty impressive artists in the area, and that there's really something going on in terms of what's happening artistically," says Kathy Anderson, artist coordinator for Art Walk. The cultural impact of the event, striking as it was, closely mirrored the economic impact. The event, at its core, is designed to dually promote Newark's burgeoning arts community and inviting downtown district. Artists actually set up their art inside downtown establishments, rather than in tents on the sidewalks as in years past. "We decided early on was that we didn't want this just to be an art walk with no other benefit," Anderson says. "We put different artists in different businesses with the hopes that not only would the community see the artist, but they would also be forced to walk into those businesses participating and say, `Hey, I didn't know this was here.'" Approximately 25 businesses hosted Art Walk artists, and more are in line to participate in this year's event, which is scheduled for Aug. 1, 2009. "Different people have different awarenesses of the downtown Newark area, but there's a lot there that's really wonderful and thriving," Anderson says. "I think there are some people that don't typically come down to take advantage of what's downtown, and the art walk brought people there." � Michaela Jackson MORE ONLINE EO We "Care with a Flair" Anyone can offer Assisted Living ... Chapel Grove does it better! 1400 Chapel Way in Heath RESIDENTIAL | COMMERCIAL | REMODELS SENIOR LIVING | ASSISTED CARE CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS www.wssinc.net www.jerrymcclainco.com Serving Licking County for Over 50 Years 51 N. Third St. | Ste. 701 | Newark, OH 43055 | (740) 345-3700 LIVE UNITED. GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEER. Licking County United Way 740-345-6685 www.lcuw.net questions answers Save Money. Smell the Flowers. �2002 American Cancer Society, Inc. 8 0 0 . A C S . 2 3 4 5 / c a n c e r. o r g www.epa.gov/greenvehicles.